Sampler by Marion Sandilands, no date.
Conservation funded by the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild in 2004.

Cotton fabric, wool and silk threads, 398mm x 460mm.

This sampler has a plain open weave cotton canvas ground, embroidered with polychrome wool threads and black silk thread. It is bordered by a zig zag design of green vine and red buds. With an alphabet in gothic script, it features a text from St Matthew’s Gospel, with a spot motif of a basket on either side. The embroiderer’s signature is worked between the verse and the main motif. This is an elaborate house scene, set beside a small lake and three trees and worked with a painterly effect from a diagonal perspective. This scene is flanked by further spot motifs of vases of flowers and shrubs.

Marion Sandilands came from East Lothian in Scotland. She sailed for Otago from London with her mother Jane on the Gloucester in 1858; perhaps she worked on her sampler en route. Her father and two older brothers had left earlier in the year from Glasgow on the Jura. The family was reunited in Dunedin on 26 December 1858 and settled initially at Tomahawk near Dunedin. Sadly, Marion died just over a year later from consumption (tuberculosis), aged just 17. She left behind this wonderfully executed sampler. The verse she had chosen from St Matthew’s Gospel proved sadly prophetic: Come to me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
Marion Sandilands
Production Date
Circa 1858
Sampler 435x490mm
Mount 540x600mm