Priscilla Cosburn Pearse

Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire,
England, 1803

sampler size: 19" x 11" • framed size: 25½" x 17½" • price: $2300

On her large and very beautifully made sampler, Priscilla Cosburn Pearse featured a handsome three-chimney manor house with a checkerboard roof and Adam and Eve under the apple tree. Many other classic sampler motifs provide further interest - baskets of flowers, pairs of birds, butterflies, and a fine border. There is a refined and almost delicate quality to the sampler, unusual for such a large sampler. 

Priscilla Cosburn Pearse was the daughter of Nicholas and Priscilla (Cosburn) Pearse who were married in 1786 in Minchinhampton, a lovely hilltop market town in the Cotswolds, southwest England. The family remained there and records show the birth of our samplermaker in 1796. That might be her baptism, as the sampler is wonderfully advanced for a seven-year-old - although that age is by no means unheard of. 

In 1824, Priscilla married Issac Star Webber and they remained in Minchinhampton where they had at least four children. The 1851 census shows that Priscilla was a widow, working as Postmistress and a shopkeeper. One of her daughters was a dressmaker - the needleworking skills must have remained in the family. 

The sampler was worked in silk on wool and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in its fine, original mahogany veneered frame.


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