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Annis Osborne, Ecclesall, Yorkshire, England,
c. 1829

One of the more interesting things about Needlework Samplers is the fact that they are as individual as the persons who made them. While they may be composed of identical motifs, their individual presentation makes them unique unto themselves. Favorite elements included a large house or building, trees, flowers in various presentations, and birds of all species . . . some so large they would fall through the roof of the house on which they sat if they were real!

The top third of this sampler worked by Annis Osborne in wool on linen is composed of three alphabets and a numeric progression and then finally an elaborate script alphabet that one must observe closely to appreciate. (It's being done in pale blue yarn.)

Annis then gets down to business with a strawberry border on three sides that encloses the pictorial elements of her sampler, and they are quite grand. The very imposing large building, quite possibly the school she attended, draws ones eye into the center of the piece and gives the sampler a visual focal point. Two long-tailed birds, flowering trees, urns of flowers, and what appear to be two falconers flank the house in a mirror image format while spotted deer cavort across the lawn. Most certainly an idyllic setting and probably one familiar to Annis, as these scenes more than often were.

She encloses her name in a cartouche, and tells us that she was 10-years-old when she made her sampler. Annis was born to Deborah and Joseph Osborne in 1819 and christened on June 20, 1819 in Ecclesall, Yorkshire, England.  What we do know is this sampler is a wonderful accomplishment for a 10 year old! It is superb in both conception and execution. Most certainly her parents were very proud of her and hung the piece proudly in their home.

Sight size of the sampler is 16-1/2" x 16". It has been conservation mounted and put back into its beveled mahogany frame with gold liner, retaining the original glass.

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