Mary Hillyer

Mary Hillyer was born in 1816, the daughter of Hannah and George, who was a rent collector near Winchester. In 1823, the final year that Mrs. Ventham's school was open, Mary made this sampler. The Ventham/Venton family might have been prominent in the area, with a John Ventham becoming Mayor in the 1850's. The family also had connections with Winchester Cathedral in the 1820's. Several Ventham School sampler have turned up over the years, made between 1802 and 1823, all featuring similar motifs, extraordinarily finely stitched on a minute scale.This extraordinary sampler has been professionally cleaned and conserved by Frances Faile, and features the farm house, the hay stack, the barn (with groom and horse), a gentleman having his coat tails tugged by a dog, the egg lady, the milkmaid, the hen and chicks, spotted cows, rabbits. rambling dogs, a peacock, a pond with ducks, a woman with a basket on her head, and some other odd creatures.

16" x 13-3/4", unframed.