JANE REES: A BRISTOL ORPHAN HOUSE SAMPLER DATED 1869

Jane Rees

Reproduced by kind permission of the owner, Loletta Hale, a well-known embroideress and teacher who lives in Victoria, Canada, this sampler includes a considerable amount of information about the maker. Jane Rees was born in 1853, was admitted to the Bristol Orphan House with her seven-year old sister Sarah following the death of their parents. She lived and worked there until at age 19, in February 1872, she was sent to the house of one Mr. Dyer at Grove, Blackheath, to work as a housemaid.

Jane Rees's marking sampler is typical of those done by the girls in the Bristol Orphan Homes in the 19th century. It is stitched in red cotton thread on fine linen (approximately 70 count), and measures 13-1/2" x 10". The top third of the sampler is covered from edge to edge with twenty different alphabetic variations. Following that are ten different sets of numerals, ending with the Roman numerals C, D, and M. Then we see three sets of initials, as it was common for the girls to include the initials of their friends and relatives. The initials "SR" here probably refer to Jane's sister, Sarah.

Following the intensely stitched alphabets and numerals, the sampler is divided roughly into three columns, which consist mainly of border patterns (forty-two if you care to count!).

Copies of Jane's admission and dismissal records are included in the instructions packet.

The kit is supplied with 40 count linen.

Kit with cotton floss: $62.00
Graph only: $20.00

 
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