Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Reward of Good Conduct as a Monitress

I was very intrigued to see the inscription on this sampler which is coming up for auction this week on 17 April at Lindsay Burns. It is Lot 207 and is described as a Victorian sampler by Agnes Burnett, Auchtertool, dated 1898, worked in coloured threads with letters of the alphabet, verse, baskets of fruit, initials and crowns, bee, thistle and other flowers and foliage. It is inscribed `WORKED BY AGNES BURNETT THE REWARD OF GOOD CONDUCT AS A MONITRESS AT THE AUCHTERTOOL FEMALE SCHOOL, MARCH 1898`. Am I right to assume that Agnes was rewarded with the thread and linen to make a sampler for herself? Or should this be interprested as the Agnes Burnett Prize for Good Conduct, that was given to someone else for good conduct? And did this form of prize-giving, however it worked, prevail in other schools? And if so, how far back did this practice reach? Mmmmm. Has anyone seen anything with a similar dedication? We'd love to know. By the way the estimate for this is £200 - £300. Click here for more details.
This pretty sampler is Lot 110 for sale at Knowle Auctions on 12 April. It is by Mary Reeves aged 10 years, 1813. The estimate is £150 - £200. Click here for more details.
And another oval sampler is the Lot 2056 for auction on 19th April at Lawrences. It is by Mary Fletcher of Lichfield, aged 8, stitched in 1789. Its estimate is £150 - £200. Click here for more details.

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