Sampler by Margaret Armstrong, 1832.

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

This sampler has the long narrow rectangle reminiscent of ‘band samplers’ (where a band of material was cut off end of a length of fabric). It has quite an elaborate design, balancing the alphabet and number sequences with a moral verse but filling the lower half of the work with an interesting variety of spot motifs. These include sets of initials that are undoubtedly those of family members but not as many and not set out in the way that were characteristic of Scottish samplers. The main focus, however, is an elaborate gateway enhanced by two crowns and surmounted to left and right by a ‘bowl of plenty’ motif. Unlike many of the samplers in this display, this one features a great variety of stitches: cross-stitch, of course, but also long-arm cross-stitch, hem stitch, chain stitch and eyelet stitch.

Margaret Armstrong worked this sampler in 1832 when she was nine years old. Unfortunately that is all that we know about her. The sampler was part of a group of family treasures donated to the Museum by Miss Joy (Jessie Eliza) Black in 1985. Any information from Museum visitors on Margaret’s identity would be most welcome.
Margaret Armstrong
Production Date
Sampler 585x325mm
Mount 720x410mm