1810 Sophia Fry aged 12 English sampler with stag and verse

This classic English sampler by Sophia Fry “her work aged 12 years August 2” 1810 features a recumbent stag, symmetrical borders and motifs on a fine, gauze-like linen. Many of the motifs are typical of the 1700s, including the cartouches that hold her name and the date and the large roses with satin-stitched petals. Color retention is good although the linen has darkened.

The verse reads “Happy is he the only happy man… Who out of choice does all the Good he can, Who Business loves and Others better makes. By Prudent Industry and Pains he takes… God’s Blessing here he’ll have and Man’s Esteem, And when he dies his Work will follow him.” The archaic “s” that looks like an “f” appears throughout.

The condition is fairly good with scattered small holes especially along the edges. Mounted on the original wooden stretcher bars with old nails, it is not attached to the old wooden frame; the sampler edges were sewn to a linen band so the nails go through that, not the linen. The frame has some small damages and chips but is otherwise sturdy enough to hang. No glass.

The sampler measures 13″ wide by 17″ high with the frame measuring 16″ by 20″.