Mary Newton, Mrs. Brown, teacher,

Mary Newton, Mrs. Brown, teacher,

Llandrinio School, Wales, 1811

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sampler size: 12” x 16” • framed size: 15¾” x 19¾” • sold

Well-documented Welsh samplers are rare and this is a beautifully stitched and particularly handsome example. It is signed, “Mary Newton Worked this Sampler with Mrs Brown in Llandrinio School in the Year of our Lord 1811 being then 11 Years old.” Llandrinio is a village near the town of Guilsfield in the north of Wales, in Montgomeryshire, on the Severn River.

Welsh records indicate that Mary was born on March 23, 1799, the daughter of Thomas and Catherine Newton and that she was baptized the following day. Her parents had been married in 1793. On October 30, 1821, she married Robert Edwards at St. Aelhaiarn, the same church where her parents were wed.

The sampler is very nicely composed and has an unusual freeform quality to it. Mary stitched a handsome church (which may be a specific depiction of St. Aelhaiarn with its prominent bell tower), a large house with three doorways, low brick walls and iron fences, and a lovely, solidly-stitched, decorative container of flowers. A wonderful, large spotted bird sits amidst the flowers on leafy stems springing from the vessel and two butterflies provide further animation. We can be certain that the direction and instruction that Mary received under the tutelage of Mrs. Brown was of an unusually high level.

Worked in silk on wool, the sampler is in excellent condition with some very slight darkening and minor stabilizing to the wool. It has been conservation mounted into a figured cherry frame with an outer bead. 

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