Sarah Gaunt, England, 1803

Sarah Gaunt, England, 1803

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Sampler size: 17½” x 22” • Framed size: 21¼” x 26” • sold

Sarah Gaunt worked this wonderfully developed sampler in England in 1803. The lively scene features a grand estate house boasting 26 mullioned windows and a similar door; quoining has been stitched in a complimentary color and the rooftops are lined with balustrades. In the foreground a plethora of animals – peacocks, deer, and other birds – fill the lawn along with many trees. The yard is framed on the left and at the top by a walkway that passes over the front staircase of the home, and along the bottom by a wonderful row of ducks and birds that line a dark stitched band, which may imply a stream. On the right is a delightful fenced-in flower garden in a charming display, and the walkway continues along the right of that. Above/behind the house are a large pair of stylized trees filled with fat fruits, as well as a variety of additional plants.

A pair of hymns stiched along the bottom of Miss Gaunt’s sampler, divided by her inscription reads: “Soon as the morn salutes your eyes / And from sweet sleep refresh’d your rise / Think on the author of the light / And praise him for the glorious sight” and “Take not at night the least repose / Ere you to heaven your soul disclose / Consider how you’ve spent the day / And for divine protection pray.” A strong, undulating vine of flowers frames the sampler on all four sides.

Interestingly, there is another known sampler sharing precisely the same excellent and salient characteristics, and these two samplermakers must have been taught by the same teacher, although years apart. That sampler was stitched by Ann Cooper in 1826 and carries the provenance of Witney Antiques.

Worked in silk on linen, Sarah’s sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a fine gold leaf frame.


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