Rogers, Sarah Ann
This is a rare late eighteenth century Canadian sampler that follows the standard format of the period in which bands of stitchwork run across a rectangular field. In this case, Sarah Ann Rogers has included three different alphabets, one set of numerals and a short religious verse alongside a handful of different decorative borders, including a strawberry border typical of the period between 1790 and 1820. The inclusion of alphabets implied a more practical concern for young needlewomen, that is the ability to mark initials onto valuable household linens. Samplers were originally used as a reference for embroiderers to keep track of various stitches and motifs. By the mid 1790s, this function had shifted into the more modern sampler form in which girls between the age of five and fifteen would demonstrate their learning, either taught in the home or the schoolroom. These samplers were designed to be displayed in the home and were an integral part of the education of Anglo settler women from middle- to upper-class families. The young artist has signed and dated her work, a common practice as early as the seventeenth century thereby flagging her ownership and pride over this display of skill with a needle.