Ann Carbutt

So many unusual and enigmatic features were left by Ann Carbutt on her sampler, made when she was sixteen years old, very likely in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname "Carbutt" is first found in Cheshire after the Norman Conquest. Variations of the name include "Garbutt" and "Garbit" and remain fairly common in the north of England. Elements of the sampler's design suggest it could have been made in Scotland, but more than likely she lived just over the border in Yorkshire. The work is more free form with an unusual firmament stitched across the top fifth of the sampler which includes a blood red sun, stars, moon, and a rainbow, which is the first I've ever seen on a sampler. The verses are especially interesting:

This world a City full of
Crooked streets. Deaths
the market place where
all men meets. If life
was merchandice that
men could buy, the rich
would live, and the poor
must die.

The verse at the center of the sampler comes from a hymn written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788):

Prisoners of hope lift up your heads
The day of liberty draws near
Jesus who on the serpent treads
Shall soon in your behalf appear.
The lord will to his temple come
Prepare your hearts to make him room.

There is another curious thing about this sampler, which is the presence of the crown at the bottom center with the initials "KW" stitched inside. My speculation is that this is a reference to King William of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange, who was very popular in Britain after the Napoleonic wars.

Stitches used in the sampler are cross over one and two threads of linen, eyelet, counted satin, four sided, and freehand stem and satin. The sampler has been professionally cleaned, conserved and museum mounted, It is stitched on linen with wool and silk threads. The frame is very likely original. The sampler itself measures 18" x 21-1/2", with the frame 22-1/2" x 26".

Price: $795.00