Sampler by Mary Crow, no date.

Cotton canvas, polychrome wool threads, 520mm x 390mm.

This is another beginner’s sampler, possibly worked at the Bannockburn school. It is similar in design to Elizabeth McDiarmid’s sampler from the West Taieri school, though it is a little more crowded and lacks that sampler’s elegant simplicity of design. As well as the usual alphabets and numbers, this one includes a phrase ‘Ever dear’, comparable to the verses that appear on more elaborate samplers. The words are split though either side of a number sequence and a jumble of spot motifs spills down the right hand side and across the bottom of the work. The building to the left may well be a symbolic representation of the school, though Bannockburn’s actual building would have been quite different in reality.

Mary Abigail Crow was born on 20 August 1876 in Hensingham, Cumberland, England, the eldest child of Jacob and Jane (née Leavens) Crow. In 1881 she sailed to Victoria, Australia on the Norfolk with her mother, grandfather Isaac Leavens and two siblings. Her father Jacob had already come to Dunedin on the Forfarshire in 1879 and the Crows followed him to Otago, settling at Duffers Gully in Bannockburn. Jacob had been a miner in Cumberland and followed the same line in Otago. He was for a time manager of the Carrick Water Race. Mary attended the Bannockburn school from 1886 to 1892 and it is during this time that she is assumed to have worked the sampler. In 1900 she married Henry Clyde Parcell, at her father’s residence in Bannockburn. She had eight children between 1900 and 1914. Mary spent all her New Zealand life in Bannockburn, dying there in 1949, and was buried in the Cromwell, New Cemetery.
Mary Crow
Sampler 535x385mm
Mount 540x425mm