Catherine Dewar,

Catherine Dewar,

Culross, Fife, Scotland, circa 1840

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sampler size: 9¾” x 8¼” • framed size: 13¼” x 11¾” • sold

A beautifully colored and delightful sampler, this was made by Catherine Dewar who was born in Culross, a village in Fife, Scotland. Featured on the sampler is an early building with Tudor style, leaded glass windows. Two large peacocks and a basket of fruit appear above with birds, animals and a little person providing wonderful pictorial embellishment throughout.

Family initials allowed for the identification of this samplermaker and we’re grateful to the researchers behind antiquesamplers.org for their assistance in this. Catherine was born July 10, 1830; her parents were John Dewar and Janet Ross, who were married in Culross in 1827. Her siblings were John, David, May, Helen, Jane, George and Robert. Interestingly, she stitched the names of sisters but only the initials of her brothers on the sampler. The date of the sampler shows as 184_ and we suspect that Catherine felt she didn’t have space for the final digit. 

The school that Catherine attended was called the Endowment School. This was somewhat abbreviated on the sampler as is her first name, a common practice of skipping to the last letter of a name or word. An 1856 publication, Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, notes that Culross had such a school, along with two private schools. 

Worked in wool on wool, the sampler is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a molded, figured maple frame with a gilt liner.  

Photo of reverse

 

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