Marion Johnston,

Marion Johnston,

Lesmahagow, Lanark, Scotland, 1812

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sampler size: 17¼" x 19½" • framed size: 20½" x 22½" • price: $1100

A handsome Scottish sampler, this features a fine house, Adam and Eve and the serpent-wrapped tree, and a fine horizontal band with influence of 18th century sampler design. It is signed, “Marion Johnston Her Samplir Aged 19 Shwed This Febr 18012” – quite certainly, the year is 1812. Marion included her parents’ names at the outset of her wording – she was the daughter of Thomas and Helen (Renwick) Johnston and the initials of her siblings are listed in the top line as well. Notably, there are misspellings, some of them almost comical, throughout the inscription, family names and religious text. The family lived in Lesmahagow, a village in Lanark. Marion was an older samplermaker – 21 years old according to her year of birth, although it seems she noted her age as 19 on her work, likely to make herself a few years younger. We are grateful to the site, antiquesamplers.org, for help in this research.

We find the details such as the little man in the doorway and the brickwork at the corners of the house to be very appealing. Classic Scottish sampler motifs include the open-tail peacocks and birds on fountains.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition with some very minor loss to stitches. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded, dark brown painted frame.

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