c1830 Mary Ann Peacock’s sampler done at Mrs. Teasdale’s Seminary

Mary Ann Peacock was 8 years old when worked her sampler some time around 1830 at Mrs. Teasdale’s Seminary in Newcastle England. The sampler was worked on a natural brown evenweave linen with selvedge around all four sides, measuring about 13″ high by 18″ wide and is mounted on the original board (a lightweight, thin piece of wood) with old nails through the fabric.

The design is simple and classic with rows of alphabets and borders across the top, a verse below, then symmetrical flowering baskets and trees above “Mary Ann Peacock’s Sampler done at Mrs Teasdale’s Seminary 106 East Clayton Street Newcastle aged 8.” It’s uncommon to find a sampler with so much information stitched into it.

The verse reads: “Parents and friends who now expect to see A piece of needle work performed by me Cast but a smile on this my mean endeavor (missing words) to mend and be obedient ever.” The thread used throughout looks like a fine wool that may be blended with linen. Cross stitches are used throughout with some lazy-daisies and random stitches in thicker, puffy wool yarn used as accents on the flowers.

The condition is good overall with wear and damage to the outer edges. There are two large faded, almost bleached-looking areas near the middle of the sampler and some stitch loss to the verse and alphabets. Mary Ann used some odd variations on letter; among very typical “S” letters she has a few that look more like the number 3 (see Mrs Teasdale as an example) and some lower-case “e”‘s that look more like a 6. The backing board is slightly warped with an upward curve and shallow bowing at the left side.