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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1803 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Smith, Elizabeth, born 1792 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, embroidered with silk in cross stitch

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The earliest samplers were reference works for embroiderers. They showed 'samples' of patterns and stitches and recorded how to achieve particular effects. In Europe in the 17th century samplers provided instruction and practice for girls learning needlework. Elizabeth Smith tells us she was eleven years old when she embroidered this sampler in 1803. Among the moral verses she has chosen to include is a grim but true statement. 'When greedy worms My Body eat Here you may read my Name complete'.

Physical description

Embroidered sampler

Place of Origin

England (made)


1803 (made)


Smith, Elizabeth, born 1792 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Linen, embroidered with silk in cross stitch

Marks and inscriptions

'Elizabeth Smith her Sam / -pler done in the 11th / Year of her Age & in A.D. 1803.'
Decoration; embroidering; silk; 1803


Height: 42.5 cm, Width: 42.5 cm

Descriptive line

Linen sampler by Elizabeth Smith, embroidered with silk; English; dated 1803.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Browne, Clare and Jennifer Wearden, eds. Samplers from the Victoria and Albert Museum. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 1851773096.


Linen; Silk




Embroidery; Textiles


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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