Ann Williams, Caernarvon, Wales, circa 1830

Ann Williams, Caernarvon, Wales, circa 1830

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Sampler size: 13½” x 15¾” • Framed size: 17¼” x 20” • sold

A splendid portrayal of a ship in full sail on a choppy ocean, this sampler was made in Wales and is closely related to two other known samplers; the three samplermakers were likely sisters. The sampler is signed, “Ann Williams /’s Work” and named the ship, “Jane Ellen Of Navin” which she depicted in glorious detail, with billowing, shimmering sails, rope ladders, one long thread that forms the headstay, a banner and a flag. A small, pale dingy with men inside trails behind. Samplers that are dominated by large depictions of ships are rare and we are pleased to be able to offer this fine example. 

The National Museum Wales owns the similar ship sampler made by Jane Williams and the private collection owns that by her sister, Arabella Jones Williams  (  These two girls were daughters of Thomas and Catherine Williams, who lived in Llanbeblig and Llanllyfini, villages in Caernarvon. Record of the baptism of our samplermaker, Ann indicates the same parents and a baptism date of July 2, 1815 in Llanbeblig.

The sampler was worked in silk on fine linen gauze and is in very good overall condition with some very minor loss to some of the white silk of the ocean. A photograph taken of the reverse of the sampler taken prior to mounting is instructive as to the technique and condition of the sampler. It has been conservation mounted and is in its original mahogany beveled frame.


Verso of sampler


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