Janet Waldie, Craigo Mill,

Janet Waldie, Craigo Mill,

Scotland, circa 1798

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sampler size: 16¼” x 16¾” • framed size: 19¾” x 20¼” • sold

This sampler is a lovely display of pictorial elements and is signed, “Janet Waldie Craigo Mill Aged 13.” A wonderful note about this sampler: the town of Craigo was developed from its textile industry, and the Craigo Mill was a flax mill. We can only imagine that this was where the ground fabric for Miss Waldie’s was made. With the assistance from our friends at antiquesamplers.org, specialists in Scottish samplers, research found that Janet Waldie was most likely born circa 1785 in Marykirk, a village about a mile and a half from Craigo. In 1819 Janet married William Thomson in Montrose, also very nearby Craigo. Janet, age 66, and her husband appear in the 1851 census and he is listed as a grocer merchant; their 22-year-old daughter, Jean, is with them as well. Interestingly, the nickname in Scotland for Janet is Jessie and she appears as such in some of the records.

Most notable of the pictorial components Janet stitched is the Adam & Eve scene, where Eve is actively picking a second apple while handing Adam the first. On either side is a beehive on a tall post, an unusual sampler element, and centered above is a man on a ship, a motif rarely found on samplers. Overall, Miss Waldie composed a highly pleasing and well-balanced picture.

Worked in silk on linen, it remains in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a bird’s eye maple frame with a gold liner.

(image of the reverse of the sampler)

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