Sampler by Mary Callender, 1827.

Linen fabric, wool threads, 400mm x 300mm.

Here is another excellent example of a Scottish sampler. It has the characteristic red and green thread colour scheme, the flat-topped ‘A’ among its alphabets, and groups of family initials around the name of its sewer. It has stylised carnations or ‘pinks’ in the border pattern along the bottom edge. This is a very old pattern in sampler tradition going right back to Persian embroidery.

Mary Callender was born at Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland in 1812. She was therefore 15 years old when she worked this sampler and an accomplished embroiderer. Mary married Robert Ure, a carpenter, at Denny in 1845 and the couple subsequently emigrated to Otago, settling on the Taieri. Mary died at their farm ‘Broompark’ of a hepatic tumour (cancer) in 1871. Her daughter Janet married David Calder junior and their daughter, Clara Calder, worked another of the samplers on display here in 1877 – fifty years after her grandmother’s effort. The sampler is one of the four donated to the Museum by the estate of Sarah Leach, née Calder, in 1957.
Mary Callander
Production Date
Sampler 430x310mm
Mount 545x420mm