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  • Place of origin:

    Sierra Leone (made)

  • Date:

    15/10/1840 (completed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Grant, Lucy (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wool, embroidered with silk in cross stitch

  • Credit Line:

    Given by William Barratt

  • 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. Making a sampler was part of a girl's school education throughout the 18th century and into the early 1800s. By this time embroidered samplers were very often a simple and undemanding exercise. This example from 1840 was made in the West African country of Sierra Leone, then a British colony. It shows how combined lessons in needlework and moral instruction still played a part in British education overseas.

Physical description

Embroidered sampler

Place of Origin

Sierra Leone (made)


15/10/1840 (completed)


Grant, Lucy (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wool, embroidered with silk in cross stitch

Marks and inscriptions

'Lucy Grant / Regent Town / Sierra Leone / October 15 1840'
Decoration; embroidering; silk; 15/10/1840


Length: 33.7 cm, Width: 24 cm

Descriptive line

Wool sampler by Lucy Grant, embroidered with silk; Sierra Leone; dated 1840.

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.


Wool; Silk



Subjects depicted

Alphabets; Flowers


Embroidery; Textiles


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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