Mary Youngs,

Mary Youngs,

Suffolk, England, 1831

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sampler size: 17” x 16¾” • framed size: 21” x 20¾” • sold

Mary Youngs worked this striking sampler in 1831, elevating the classic English composition. Centered and within a beautiful arabesque-shaped motif is Mary’s simple inscription, her name and date, along with the aphorism “Virtue is the true bond of Friendship.” This is flanked by two of the same motifs, each is beautifully and fully worked with long-necked, inward facing swans. A twisted band divided this from the upper register, which includes two alphabets and a bold zigzag in blue and ivory.

A precise square frame surrounds the verse regarding the strength of friendship, reiterating the maxim above. This is flanked by a pair of geometric two-toned pine trees and sits above a lawn presenting a symmetrical line of unusual flat-topped filled urns, smartly formed for their space, dogs, butterflies, and another pair of pine trees. Mary completed her work with an exemplary fully worked border in green and white silk with additional linear frameworks.

The label on the back of the original frame names a framer in Suffolk and from this we were able to deduce the identity of Mary Youngs. She was born in Uggeshall, Suffolk to John and Mary (Foreman) Youngs, approximately 6 miles from Halesworth, where Thomas Rounce, a noted glazier on Chediston Street, made the frame for her sampler. Mary went on to marry Henry George, they had two children, and the family remained in Suffolk.

This sampler is in excellent condition, which is evidenced by a photo of the reverse (shown below); however, there is very minor wear to some of the silk surrounding one swan. It has been conservation mounted and remains in its original gold frame.

(image of the reverse of the sampler)

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