1883 Sarah Sykes aged 13 framed 6-1/2″ sampler

Sarah Sykes was 13 years old in 1883 when she completed this diminutive sampler. In classic schoolgirl style it features an alphabet and numbers along with a variety of motifs, including bluebirds, hearts and potted plants, all arranged symmetrically. True “miniature” samplers are quite scarce, making this even more of a treasure. The linen is a coarse, light brown homespun with the expected slubs and a few thick, slightly irregular threads.

The condition is quite good; there’s no visible stitch loss– while the “2” in the last alphabet row appears to have some missing stitches, I can’t see any trace of the thread and the other stitches are not loose. There are two worn holes in the fabric near the bottom of the sampler; one about 1/2″ wide on the left between the border and flowerpot and another 1/4″ hole on the right beside the heart motif.

The visible embroidered area measures 6-1/2″ square, with the frame measuring 9-1/4″. The solid wood frame is beautiful, with very nice graining and is in excellent condition, ready to hang. The back has two metal eyelets with an old cord or string stretched between them, so you may want to replace them.