Three Royal Naval Ships: Hope, Nelson and Charlotte,
England, circa 1815
A very interesting sampler, this is signed, “Sophia Evans, Aged nine.” The highly unusual, solidly stitched scene of three Royal Navy warships in full sail dominates the sampler; the ships are the Hope, Nelson and Charlote [sic]. The Hope was sold in 1819; the Nelson was built in 1814 and the Charlotte was a schooner that was wrecked in 1801. This type of subject matter appears only rarely on samplers. The verse, transcribed below, is also in regard to ships at sea. It was based on a publication by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), a prominent English poet, essayist and reformer, considered a woman of letters, when, of course, there were very few.
Also portrayed on the sampler is a splendid large manor house with many chimneys and windows, on black and white brickwork. Along with alphabets, Sophia worked a long verse which we have transcribed below. Her needlework is excellent for any age samplermaker but most impressive for one who was only nine years old.
The sampler was in the Micheal and Elizabeth Feller Collection and published as such.
Worked in silk on wool, it is in very good condition with some minor areas of loss to the wool. It has been conservation mounted and stabilized and is in a molded frame with a gold liner.
Transcription of verse:
Brave Henry Tempts the dangerous sea
And leaves his friends with pain
That he may great and valiant be
And glory may attain ~
To distant chimes he hastes to be
From Britains happy isle ~
And leaves his home where comforts flow
For hardships and for toil ~
Then you his sisters hasten now
Each duty to fulfill ~
And learn with meek content to bow
To Heavens almighty will ~
Then Henry you may hope to greet
Upon that happy shore ~
Where friends beloved together meet
To separate no more ~