Jane Fewing,

Jane Fewing,

England, 1815

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sampler size: 12½” x 16¾” • framed size: 16¾” x 21” • price: sold

There is a particularly pleasing quality to this beautifully worked sampler which was made in 1815 by Jane Fewing. Perhaps it is the delightful color palette combined with the unusual depiction of a tall and graceful lady with tightly bullion-stitched brown hair wearing a long blue dress, her tiny shoes peeking out from the hem. She glances forward while seemingly picking flowers from a tall plant. The detail is remarkable: pink lips, eyebrows and a bracelet on each wrist. She is flanked by matching animated deer and dogs, with sturdy trees completing the scene. A pair of birds soar above with a striped green lawn below. The center register displays a variety of classic flowering plants in a lovely palette of pink, purple, blue, ivory and golden brown. An additional band below continues the flora theme and coloration. Along the bottom Jane stitched the aphorism “Accept what’eer th’ Almighty deigns to give And die contented or contented live” flanked by two large woven baskets fat with stacked leafy fruits. This is grounded by her inscription, and the composition comes together with a rhythmic vine of strawberries framing it on all four sides.

Jane was born in 1804 in Barnstaple, Devon, England. Little else is known of her childhood, but we can be certain that she was well educated within the needle arts. She remained single and put her skill to good use serving in a household in St. Paul, Gloucestershire until late in life. She was 75 when she died in 1878.

Worked in silk on wool, Miss Fewing’s sampler remains in excellent condition, with some secured very minor areas of weakness to the wool ground. It has been conservation mounted into a period maple frame with a gold liner.

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