Sampler by Anne Kilgour, 1770.

Linen fabric, wool threads, 430mm x 200mm.

This is the oldest sampler in the Museum collection and takes us back to the eighteenth century. Its shape is significant, the long narrow rectangle reminiscent of ‘band samplers’ (where a band of material was cut off end of a length of fabric) rather than the ‘landscape’ orientation that became general in the nineteenth century. The Scottish tradition of embroidering genealogical detail is already evident here. The sampler also features the somewhat dour moral instruction Fear God in Fear.

This sampler was a family heirloom brought to Otago by an emigrant family in the nineteenth century. Its donor was Charles John Strang of Mornington but it is not clear how he was connected to Anne Kilgour. His father John Rankin Strang came to Otago on the City of Dunedin in 1863, keeping a diary of his voyage that was also donated to the Museum. His mother was a member of the remarkable Black family of Aberdeen. Her father was a shipowner who brought his family out to Tasmania, Australia in 1857 on his own vessel the 125 ton Dutch galliot Rhinoinglekins. Miss Black came on to Dunedin in 1865 where she taught music before marrying John Strang four years later. The sampler can therefore be assumed to have come to Dunedin either with John Strang in 1863 or with his future wife in 1865. In the latter case it would have come circuitously via Launceston on the distinctively-named little Dutch ship.
Anne Kilgour
Production Date
Sampler 435x207mm
Mount 455x353mm