Sampler by Elizabeth Corderoy, 1824.

Wool fabric, silk threads, 448mm x 340mm.

This sampler is another fine example of the high quality embroidery achieved by a very young girl. Elizabeth will have worked this sampler at school. It centres on the somewhat gloomy verse, a reflection on the brevity of life and hope in the world to come. This is surrounded by an array of spot motifs of plants and animals, including the rather startling deer with antlers at the bottom. An ornate border frames the sampler nicely while each of the motifs is reflected symmetrically across a vertical centre line, except for the plant at the bottom.

This sampler was brought to Otago on the immigrant ship Nourmahal by James and Elizabeth Gwyn in 1858. The Gwyns, from Sydenham in Kent, were pioneer settlers at Broad Bay, on the Otago Peninsula, where they lived for the rest of their lives with their thirteen children. James was a farmer but also the first postmaster at Broad Bay, a post he held until his death in 1892. The sampler was clearly considered a family heirloom to have been brought out from England but it is not clear who Elizabeth Corderoy might have been. Her age puts her in the generation of James and Elizabeth’s parents but she was not their mother. Elizabeth’s mother was Sally Freeborn. James’s mother was Sarah, surname unknown. The sampler was presented to the Museum in 1952 by descendants of the Gwyns’ youngest daughter Rosina Bayne.
Elizabeth Corderoy
Production Date
Sampler 455x357mm
Mat 610x505mm