GRACE KEMISH circa 1816
This English sampler features a four sided honeysuckle border with one row of alphabets across the top, followed by a traditional verse:
Jesus Permit thy Gracious Name to stand
As the first Effort of an Infant Hand
And while her fingers on the Canvas move
Engage her tender thoughts to seek thy love
With thy dear Children let her have a part
And write thy Name thyself upon her Heart
Below the verse is an arcaded floral band, followed by two scenic registers. The first is centered by a stylized stag and flanked by potted flowers, peacocks, butterflies and small birds. The second scene illustrates a possibly randy shepherd and a consenting shepherdess with their dog and sheep, sitting on the trunk of a tree. To their right is a ship with finely stitched rigging, flying what could be the flag of the East India Company.
When the original sampler was removed from its frame a cluster of at least thirty dried bay leaves had been placed behind the sampler, presumably put there to discourage insect damage, and it worked very well, as antique sampler is in very good condition. Grace Kemish signed her work in a cartouche at the bottom but picked out the last two digits of the date. I am guessing the date at 1816, or within the range of 1810-1820. Stitches used are cross, back, straight, and counted satin. On 40 count linen the finished reproduction will measure approximately 19-1/4" x 22".