Elizabeth Mars 1888

Elizabeth Mars stitched a very special sampler. The size of her sampler is 17" wide x 13.7" high. The sampler was worked on 60+ thread per inch fabric in Cross stitch over two threads. Miss Mars added some very distinctive touches to her sampler.

This 1888 sampler is a modified Tic Tac Toe style of Bristol sampler. You will see this style of sampler appearing about 1880. The top part of this style of sampler featured the alphabets the girls had to stitch. In the top section on the right side you can see where she stitched the bed numbers of her friends. The middle part of the sampler was then divided into sections by stitching bands of little motifs to define each section. Those sections were then filled with border band patterns and words, usually a scripture or a motto. The bottom of the sampler contains many motifs found in other Bristol samplers stitched during this time period. Miss Mars signed and dated her sampler:
E. Mars
South Wing
3 New Orphan House
Ashley Down

Elizabeth almost finished the sampler before she left the orphanage in 1888 to go and live with her paternal grandmother. You can see one border band on the right side of her sampler that she didn't complete. This is one of three known Bristol samplers that features the large squirrel motif. The elephant was also a popular motif during that time period.

The unique addition that makes Elizabeth's sampler special is that she added a tatted lace edge to her sampler. We don't know if she tatted the edge before she left the orphanage or after, but this edging is unusual. Take a look at the additional pictures on this page to see the lace edge. The sampler is currently framed to hide the tatted edge, but it is tucked away safe and sound.

This sampler is in a private collection and all the pictures and information presented here are used with permission.

These are links to some of Elizabeth Mars orphan records.

Admission Record Part 1

Admission Record Part 2

Dismissal Record

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