Susanna Mary Mumford, Southchurch,

Susanna Mary Mumford, Southchurch,

Essex, England, circa 1860

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sampler size: 6½” x 7¼” • frame size: 8¾” x 9½” • price: $950

This charming little sampler documents the birth of Susanna Mary Mumford, who lived in the little town of Southchurch, a historic and picturesque coastal village due east of London, now part of Southend-on-Sea. It was likely made by Susanna when she was a schoolgirl although it’s also possible that the sampler was made in 1850 by someone else to document and celebrate Susanna’s birth. From census records we know that she was the daughter of John and Susanna Mumford. In 1881 Susanna lived with her 60-year-old mother, they were both laundresses; also in the household was a young male scholar who boarded with them and two lodgers, a gardener and under gardener.

The samplermaker used tight stitches to form the lettering, as well as the decorative motifs: center basket of flowers, pair of pine trees, butterflies and stars. A fine red inner border and a delicate pale blue outer zigzag frame the sampler. It was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition, conservation mounted into a 19th century frame. 

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