Sampler by Alice Monson, 1878.

Cotton canvas, wool threads, 300mm x 190mm.

This sampler is a New Zealand school effort from Port Chalmers in 1878. It is altogether more elementary than its predecessors from British schools earlier in the century. It follows the sample pattern of alphabet sequences interspersed with various border patterns, all in cross-stitch, and followed by details of the sewer. There is one spot motif of a crown beside the age reference and another of a cross in the bottom border pattern.

Alice Monson was born at Port Chalmers in 1868. Her father John and grandfather Henry, architect/builders from St Pancras, London, had come to Otago on the John Wickliffe in 1848 while her mother Mary Ann Roebuck was an even earlier arrival. Mary Ann’s family, also from St Pancras in London, had emigrated to Nelson in 1842 and come down to Otago the next year. They were forerunners to the main settlement established by the Scots Presbyterians in 1848. John and Mary Ann married at Port Chalmers in 1856 and had eight children, including Alice. She attended the Port Chalmers school to Standard Six, leaving at the end of 1882. She never married and lived in Port Chalmers until her death in 1930 aged 62. It is interesting to compare her sampler with one worked by her grandmother, Elizabeth Palmer, in 1818. Elizabeth had also been aged 10 when she completed her sampler but her work is much more sophisticated than her granddaughter’s effort 60 years later.
Alice Monson
Production Date
285 (h) x 175 (w) mm
450 (h) x 350 (w) mm (mounted)