Sampler by Maria Nelson, 18?0.

Linen fabric, wool threads, 415mm x 300mm.

This sampler is somewhat the worse for wear and its details are a little hard to decipher. It is thought to be a Scottish school product – Rosewell School is probably at the place of that name near Edinburgh – and it has the characteristic Scottish focus on family genealogy in the rows of initials that dominate the central panel. It is quite an elementary effort, entirely worked in cross-stitch. There are two alphabet sequences along the upper portion and a verse below the sets of initials. The verse is from Psalm 51: Creat [sic] a clean heart in me O God and renew a right spirit. This is set inside a border pattern of blue flowers. There are simpler border patterns between the rows above and below the verse as well. A second floral pattern of strawberries is worked around the outside border of the sampler.

We know nothing about Maria Nelson beyond what can be discerned from her sampler. It tells us that she was aged 9 (although the stitching here is faded and worn) and worked the sampler at Rosewell School. The date that follows looks to be 1860 but the ‘6’ is completely gone and the ‘0’ is little more than a shadow. The cardboard backing board had a postmark on it ‘Roxburgh 18 June 1915’. The sampler was donated to the Museum from the estate of Mr M.J. Campbell of Pukerau in 1981.
Maria Nelson
435 (h) x 325 (w) mm
545 (h) x 425 (w) mm (mounted)