Monday 9 May 2011

A Boy Stitcher at Ackworth School? 3 Quaker Samplers for Auction at Tennants in Leyburn

(My apologies for the delay in responding to emails yesterday and today - our power supply has been up and down like a yo-yo once again.) On 21 May, Tennant's Actioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire will have 3 Quaker samplers for sale. This first, incomplete sampler is signed A Pollard 1800 and is Lot Number 1220 with an estimate of £1,200-£1,800. The catalogue description is as follows: A Framed Quaker Ackworth School Medallion Sampler By A Pollard Dated 1800 worked in brown and green threads in cross stitch, 41 cms by 53 cms; and a similar framed unfinished example with alphabet, 29 cms by 27 cms (2) Andrew Pollard was born in Horsham Sussex 11 December 1790, he was the son of Samuel Pollard and Catherine Hughesdon and attended Ackworth between 1799-1802. The Pollard family had attended Ackworth School from 1786 and continued to do so for 100 years. Andrew re married in 1837 aged 47 after the death of his first wife to a Sarah Mainhood and lived in London, they had 11 children and he worked as a commercial traveller and in later years as a school master in Wales, he died aged 72 in 1863 in Swansea. It is unusual to see a sampler produced by one of the boys from Ackworth and in Carol Humphreys `Quaker School Girl Samplers from Ackworth` page 91 illustrates a wonderful medallion sampler worked by Andrews sister Martha Pollard in 1811. My thoughts on this are that this sampler is atypical for an Ackworth School sampler. The inclusion of half-hexagonal medallions within the body of the sampler as opposed to the border is rarely seen and that together with the inversion of the motifs at the top suggests to me that it is indeed a Quaker sampler but stitched outside of Ackworth School. While the possibility of a boy stitching an Ackworth sampler would be an exciting first - I am inclined to posit the existence of a Pollard female sibling called Anne, perhaps, who did not attend Ackworth, but who was either inspired by a sister's sampler, or instructed in its making by a returning sister. There has not yet been time to discover more about the Pollard family.
Above is the second sampler referred to that is included in this Lot 1220
And the Quaker sampler by Mary Jarvis above has a verse taken from a Poem entitled Happiness in Christ, ascribed to Minimus in The Evangelical Magazine Number 7 of 1799. Note also the ligatured capitals on the 2nd alphabetic line.  Remember if you want to bid and don't want to be disappointed, you must contact Tennants in advance to register yourself as a bidder.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    I am the seller of these samplers & a keen researcher,particularly of Quaker needlework.I can assure you Andrew was the sewer (Quaker library confirmed boys did indeed sew, usually choosing to do so as a leisure pursuit). So unusual, but not unique. He had no sisters with the initial A, but as I''ve mentioned, his sister Martha attended Ackworth later & her lovely sampler is in the Glasgow museum. Stylistically, I think it's fair to say, the medallion samplers evolved over time until they became the recognizable medallion samplers we know today, but that evolution wasn't linear, more trial & error.