Sampler by Louise Webber, 1850.

Linen fabric, wool threads, square cross-stitch, lined with fine glazed cotton, 345mm x 250mm.

The main focus of this sampler is the poem Ode to Industry worked in cross-stitch at its centre. This stitch was the mainstay of nineteenth-century samplers, and in many cases was the only stitch used. This sampler’s design has an elegant simplicity and is an excellent example of the level of work that could be achieved by girls at a very young age with proper instruction.

Louise Webber worked this sampler when she was 9 years old in 1850. Nothing more is known about her. The sampler was donated to the Museum by Mrs Margaret Lindsay Thomson in 1948 and it is possible that Louise was her relative. If so, it has not been possible to establish the relationship: Margaret Thomson’s maiden name was Corbett, her mother’s Robertson. Margaret was married to John Scott Thomson, a noted Otago botanist and son of Alexander Thomson, the cordial manufacturer. Alexander Thomson had been a dedicated collector of Otago historical material. He died in 1904 and the family donated over 2000 items from his collection of to the Settlers Association in 1922. A special wing had to be built to accommodate the ‘Thomson Collection’ at the Museum. This sampler may simply represent ongoing collecting by the next generation of Thomsons.
Louisa Webber
Production Date
Sampler 350x250mm
Mount 450x355mm