Elizabeth Ecklee

Mrs. Hill’s Academy,
Kempsey, Worcestershire, England, 1804


sampler size: 11¼” x 9¼” • framed size: 15¾" x 14" • price: $5800

Some English schoolgirls, working under talented instructresses, created outstanding samplers at young ages. This very appealing and beautifully made example was worked by ten-year-old Elizabeth Ecklee (one is 10 years old when in one’s 11th year), while a student at Mrs. Hill’s Academy in Kempsey, a small town four miles south of Worcester. It is signed, "Elizabeth Ecklee did this at Mrs. Hill Academy Kempsey in the 11th year of her age 1804."

The handsome four-storied building, depicted with tiny individual bricks and a checker-board roof, sits on a shaded lawn with an excellent, upwards-looking dog and a pair of deer. Tiny, perfectly executed stitches form the alphabet, inscription and verse, which is a quotation from “Reflections from a Flower Garden,” written in 1746 by Rev. James Hervery, a noted English poet. A border of fat strawberries provides a good visual framework. The sampler is relatively small, rendering this more finely worked than most samplers. 

The samplermaker may be the Elizabeth Ecklee whose marriage to Samuel Merrick on April 24, 1822 was recorded in Upton on Severn, a village six miles away from Kempsey. 

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into its excellent, original bird’s-eye maple frame with gilt liner.


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