Sampler, 1888
Made by Agnes Lawson, Fife
Eyelet and cross-stitch woollen embroidery on linen
427 x 287 x 6 mm
Gift of Mrs C Lawson, 1970


In the nineteenth century, Scottish girls from the age of five or six learnt both their letters and stitches by making beautiful samplers.

This charming example is a personal record of a family's history. Initials of parents, brothers, sisters, and even friends and grandparents, have been worked into it. The initials embroidered in black are probably of relatives who have died. Recording family members in this way is characteristic of Scottish samplers.

There are other distinctively Scottish details - the flat-topped A, eyelet stitch, the peacock with seven tail feathers, and strawberries in a twisted stem border.

This is one of three samplers in Te Papa's collections made by two sisters, Jeanie and Agnes Lawson, who attended Kilconquhar School in Fife, Scotland.

Display dates: August 2007 to February 2008.