Ann Hiron

School at Longmarson,
Warwickshire, England, 1738

sampler size: 15½” x 11” • frame size: 19¼” x 14¾” • sold

This excellent and very beautiful tablet sampler is signed, “Ann Hiron, Work Done In The School att Longmarson 1738.” Now called Long Marston, the town is located along the southwest border of Warwickshire, just southwest of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Tablet samplers are a wonderful 18th century genre and we are pleased to be able to offer this very fine example. In her book entitled Samplers (Fitzwilliam Museum Handbooks, Cambridge University Press,1997), Carol Humphrey discussed a specific 1744 tablet sampler:

Samplers inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer, a Creed, or the Ten Commandments became increasingly popular in England from the 1720s. Their format was similar to the painted boards displayed in churches of the day, with the appropriate religious tract set out for the education of the congregation. The combination of moral edification and instruction in stitching was embraced enthusiastically by governesses and schoolteachers.
The fervent evangelism of Dr. Isaac Watts, John Wesley, and their contemporaries profoundly influenced education in the English-speaking world on both sides of the Atlantic. This trend is well illustrated by the increase in morally uplifting inscriptions on eighteenth-century samplers.

Ann worked with very fine and neat stitches throughout, though in some instances she misjudged the spacing and had to squeeze in letters or let them run right through the framework of the tablet itself. A sawtooth border surrounds her inscription, as well as a splendid flower motif in which she incorporated the competent use of metallic thread. The elaborate polychrome border frames her composition well. This is one of the finest and earliest tablet samplers that we have seen in many years. 

Worked in silk and metallic thread on wool, the sampler remains in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a fine maple and cherry bevel frame.

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