The size of the stitched fabric is 9" wide by 11" tall.
This sampler by Easter Ann Hague is a great example of a traditional early sampler. We hope that Esther had fun stitching her many alphabets and then numbers which filled up her fabric to the middle of her sampler. The bottom is filled with many familiar motifs seen in many Bristol samplers. Esther's large crown motif is slightly different than seen in other samplers from this time period.
We know that the girls copied styles and placement from each other. Samplers similar to this one, shown on this website, are Emma Sandford and Augusta. Miss Hague's sampler is the earliest one of these three.
There is one black stitch on this sampler - which was used for the eye in the rat motif. At the time this sampler was stitched many children and adults were dying from Cholera. The rat could have been a symbol of this dreaded plague. When Esther was admitted she would have to have shown proof of vaccination from Cholera. So when you see the rat motif on the red samplers worked in the 1860's, you now know that cholera did not prevent that girl from having a chance at a longer life.
Esther did indeed have a long life. One of the occupations Esther had after the orphanage was working as a dressmaker. It seems that her skill with a needle was not just limited to samplers. She later married, had children and died when she was 81 years old.
This sampler is in the collection of Barbara Heyes, in Tasmania. All images and information are shared with her permission.
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