Sampler by Eliza Watson, 1860.

Linen fabric, wool threads, 430mm x 290mm.

This is a relatively elementary sampler, probably worked by a schoolgirl, and possibly Scottish in origin. It features six alphabet sequences and three numeral sets with some quite interesting lettering styles. The top half of the sampler is subdivided by various simple border patterns with a slightly more elaborate pattern along the top edge. There is also a simple cross-stitch border in red wool framing the entire work. The sewer’s signature, her location and date fill out the bottom section.

The circumstances surrounding this sampler are obscure. It was catalogued retrospectively in 1978 at which point details of its donor were unknown. This makes it virtually impossible to research the sewer whose surname – Watson – is one of the most common British surnames, while her first name – Eliza – is not much better. The placename, which appears to be ‘Fochabers’ may provide a vital clue but we would welcome any information that helps us uncover more detail on Eliza and how her sampler came to Otago.
Eliza Watson
Production Date
Apr 1860
Sampler 435x295mm
Mount 545x420mm