Elizabeth Selwood,

Elizabeth Selwood,

 A. Bennett’s School, Bradford, Wiltshire, England, 1833

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sampler size: 16” x 12½” • framed size: 21” x 17¾” • price: $4800

Beautifully worked in the finest tradition of early 19th century English samplers, this was made in 1833 by Elizabeth Selwood who was only 8 years old at the time. The dominant pictorial images are of a red brick Georgian house and a country church and churchyard, but the many flowering plants, heralding angles, bird and butterfly, and the letter-perfect verse – a delightful entreaty to her parent, contribute greatly to the appeal of this sampler. One can image that young Elizabeth enjoyed stitching details such as the door knocker and handle to the house and clock face and hands to the church tower to her work. The side borders, topped off with large grape bunches and tendrils, frame the composition beautifully.

We know of another sampler, made in 1811, that shares many of these precise characteristics; that maker indicated that she attended “S & A Bennett’s School Bradford Wilts.” It seems likely that these teachers were sisters and that A. Bennett operated the school by herself by the time Elizabeth attended. Given the location of the school, we feel that the maker was most likely the Elizabeth Selwood who was born circa 1825 in Bradford, Wiltshire and recorded at age 26 in the 1851 census, living there with her stepmother.

The sampler was worked in silk on wool and is in excellent condition with one minor area of weakness to the wool and some very minor wear to a letter. It has been conservation mounted and is in its original frame.

 

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