Sampler by Jane Herbert, 1872.

Cotton canvas, wool threads, 420mm x 340mm.

This relatively simple sampler has some nice touches. It begins with two and a half alphabet sequences and numbers, the latter being 1-12 in ordinary Arabic script and then 1-9 in Roman numerals. A sequence of family initials follows with each row divided by a series of contrasting border patterns. A neatly executed floral border pattern has been worked horizontally across the centre and five crowns, alternately red and yellow, follow this. The sewer’s signature, location and date occupy the lower portion, flanked by pairs of spot motifs. The upper pair is of crosses while the lower two are anchors. A simple red border has been worked around the outside edge.

Jane Herbert was from Currie, Edinburgh, which is also the name of the school identified on her sampler. She was born circa 1863 and was therefore about 9 years old when she completed her embroidery. She was the third daughter of David and Jane Herbert (née Thompson) and arrived in Otago with her family from Melbourne in 1871. Her father farmed a property known as ‘Swift Creek’ at Heriot in West Otago and styled himself ‘Esquire’ to distinguish himself from run-of-the-mill settlers. Jane maintained the family’s social standards when she married Thomas Morton Macaulay in 1887. He was the son of Robert Macaulay ‘Esquire’, formerly manager of the Totara Park estate in North Otago and a representative of the Scottish consortium known as the New Zealand and Australia Land Company. It played a key role in the development of pastoralism in nineteenth century New Zealand and its managers were considered important men. Thomas followed in his father’s footsteps, managing estates for the Company, until his early death in 1906. Jane survived him by over 40 years, dying at her home in St Kilda in 1947. They had three children but none went on to produce grandchildren. Her daughter, Miss Margaret Macaulay, donated Jane’s sampler to the Museum along with other family treasures in 1981.
Jane Herbert
Production Date
Framed size : 455x370x20mm
Image size : 420X340mm