Sarah Harvey, Bath,

Sarah Harvey, Bath,

Somersetshire, England, 1812

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sampler size: 15¾” x 12” • framed size: 18¼” x 14½” • price: $4800

Clearly skilled in the needle arts, Sarah Harvey worked this beautiful sampler with precision – fine, neat stitches create a beautiful scene surrounded by classic English elements. “View of the West Front of the New Guildhall, Bath, Somersetsh” is the title presented under the grand and highly detailed building, which is flanked by wonderful, unusual trees and topped with a gentleman in a red shirt, or the figure of Justice. Guildhall was erected in Bath between 1775-1778, and replaced the 17th century building, Stuart Guildhall, hence, New Guildhall.

A remarkably similar sampler is in the collection of antiquesamplers.org and is shown here, below. It was worked by Ann Bennett in 1821, fully eleven years after our Sarah Harvey sampler was made. These two samplers were most definitely worked at the same school and under the tutelage of the same talented schoolmistress.

Miss Harvey completed her composition with birds and other animals and flowers and other plants along with prose that was sourced from her education. Also noteworthy, is the way she worked her simple border around the verse into the undulating vine of flowers below it. Indeed, this is an exemplary sampler overall.

Worked in silk on wool it remains in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a black painted, molded frame.

 (image of reverse of Harvey sampler)

 (image of similar sampler by Ann Bennett, 1821. Image courtesy of antiquesamplers.org)

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