Isabella Birtle, Carleton Village School,

Isabella Birtle, Carleton Village School,

Penrith, Cumberland, England, 1876

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sampler size: 24½" x 32¼" • framed size: 28½" x 36¼" • price: $900

Samplermaking continued into the second half of the 19th century to a lesser degree than earlier on and the size of the samplers and the scale of the work frequently became larger. Adam and Eve continued to be popular subjects and they appear as the central motif on this wonderfully composed, very large sampler made in 1876. Other classic assorted sampler motifs include winged angles, baskets of fruit, birds on trees, flower bouquets and four little cows.

Signed, “Isabella Birtle’s work Aged 12 Carleton Village School 1876,” it also features two carefully stitched pieces of prose. Carleton Village is now part of Penrith, a town in northern England. Isabella was the daughter of James and Dorothy Birtle, born in Penrith in 1864. In 1892 she married George Burgess. The 1911 census shows Isabell, a nurse, age 47 and then a widow, living in Penrith with her mother.

Worked in merino wool and silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a molded walnut frame.

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