Sampler by Ann McAinsh, 1826.

Linen fabric, wool threads, 575mm x 320mm.

This small sampler looks like the work of a beginner. It is nicely designed and reasonably well executed but the unevenness to some of the lettering suggests it may have been a learning exercise. The verse from St Matthew’s Gospel – one of the Beatitudes in fact - is a cheerier one than most of those that appear on the samplers displayed here. The spot motifs feature plants, birds and animals set around a building that probably represents the sewer’s school. Her signature and date are in the upper part of the work and there is a well-executed border pattern – except in the lower corners where she has struggled to incorporate the turns into the pattern.

Donor details have unfortunately become separated from this sampler. It is almost certainly, however, the work of Ann McAinsh, daughter of Robert McAinsh and Elizabeth Drummond, born circa 1814. This makes her 12 years old when she worked on the sampler. Ann married John Gow in 1834 and lived at Auchterarder, Scotland. John died in 1867 and Ann left Scotland in 1869 for the United States with three of her childen. She stayed for only a short while before returning to Scotland with her son John and daughter Christina. Then, in 1871, the same three Gows emigrated to Otago on the James Nicol Fleming. Another daughter, Elizabeth, who had come to Dunedin on the Arima in 1863, guaranteed their passages. Ann lived with her son John in North East Valley and celebrated her 102nd birthday there in 1916. She died soon afterwards.
Ann Mcainsh
Production Date
Sampler 215x210mm
Mount 252x250mm