Jannet Youngson,

Jannet Youngson,

Aberdeen, Scotland, 1816

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sampler size: 16½” x 12½” • framed size: 19¼” x 15¼” • price: $3000

A large group of Scottish samplers depict as their central image a stately house and dimensional, chenille lawn scene with excellent perspective and well-developed fences. An excellent source for viewing examples of these can be found in the preeminent collection of antiquesamplers.org. We are pleased to be able to offer a new addition to this group, stitched by Jannet Youngson in 1816 when she was 13 years old. Jannet, also recorded as Janet, was born in 1804 to Thomas Youngson, a vintner, and Janet Thoris. At the age of 18, in 1823, she married James Toss and two years later they had a son, Alexander. Sadly, in 1840, James died at the youthful age of 35, and Jannet followed not too long after at the age of 49 in 1853.

Jannet’s sampler features a concisely and richly stitched, detailed brick house with open windows, two chimneys, door knocker/knob and steps leading through the deep, plush lawn to the golden gate; a brick wall rather than fence extends outward from the gate. Fruited trees, pine trees and flower baskets flank the house, and above the chimneys she stitched Mrs. Mc, likely referring to her teacher. Hearty budding sprigs separate the scene from the verse above.

The verse, a common one found on samplers, reads: Jesus permit thy gracious name to stand / as the first efforts of an infants hand / and while her fingers on the canvas move / engage her tender heart to seek thy love / with thy own children let her share a part / and write thy gracious name upon her heart. Interestingly, this hymn is attributed to John Newton (1725-1807), who is best known for having written Amazing Grace, or possibly, notable poet Isaac Watts (1674-1748); in either instance, it is said that this was written for a niece’s sampler.

Many family initials and Jannet’s inscription at the bottom complete the sampler, along with flowering tendrils and an undulating strawberry vine border. It remains in very good condition with some slight loss to the lettering of the verse. It has been conservation mounted and is in its fine, original beveled rosewood frame with a gold liner, and is accompanied by the original backboard with the Edinburgh framer’s original label, as shown below.

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