Sampler; 1818; 1998/131/1



About this object

This fine sampler exhibits all the characteristics that are associated with Scottish samplers; a red and green thread colour scheme, use of a flat-topped letter ‘A’, and the inclusion of family names or initials. This one has eleven different family names, including that of the sewer. The bottom section has a range of spot motifs of birds and plants and there are a number of different border patterns used to divide up the various rows. Along the top is an arcaded floral pattern, a variation of one that appears frequently on nineteenth century samplers.

Despite the eleven Aitken family names - all stitched out in full – we have no idea who Margaret Aitken was or how her sampler came to Otago. It is most likely that it was a keepsake of home for an emigrant of a later generation but it cannot be ruled out that Margaret (or was Isabella the sewer?) came herself. We just do not have any information to connect the sampler to any settler story.

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