L Whitear 1816 Sampler
An historical design from the Scarlet Letter collection.
L. Whitear her work Feb. 1816, Twyford School.
Twyford School is, and was, a preparatory school located in the village of Twyford, Hampshire, in southern England. It claims to be the oldest preparatory school in the United Kingdom. The school was moved to its present site in 1809. The original buildings are still in use. For most of its history the school accepted only boys as pupils, suggesting, curiously, that our "L. Whitear" might have been the sister of a pupil, or not a girl at all! There is another Twyford School in the South Downs near Winchester, but school records have not been available to determine where Whitear studied.
This is a delicately stitched sampler with a very pleasing symmetrical format, including potted flowers and buzzing bees above a traditional verse (with a new twist, dedicated to an uncle rather than a parent), and a scene in the lower third depicting a large brick farm house, swans in a pond, a farmer and his wife beneath a grape arbour, with a peculiar chicken and friendly dogs alongside. The lowermost register depicts birds perched atop follies that resemble Solomon's Temple. The verse reads:
Next unto God, Dear Uncle I address
Myself to you, in humble thankfulness
For all your care, and charge on me bestow'd
The means of learning unto me allow'd
Go on, I pray and let me still pursue
Those golden arts the vulgar never knew
Stitches used are cross over one and two threads of linen, back stitch, and counted satin.
On 35 count linen the reproduction sampler will measure approximately 13-1/2" x 16-1/2"