A large and beautifully stitched English Needlework Sampler by Elizabeth Walkden, done in 1826. The sampler features a large Royal Crest (Lion and Unicorn), a verse ("Why should I say T'is yet too soon, To seek for heaven or think of Death. A flower may fade before t'is noon, And I this day may lose my Breath."), and numerous little birds, some on the tops of trees, some perched on houses and some flying or walking on the linen backing. There are also what appear to be a couple of squirrels, just off the top corners of the verse frame. The whole sampler is framed by a zigzag strawberry border. It is framed in a contemporary, but not brand new, wood frame. Sight size of the sampler is approximately 17 ½" x 16 ½".
The sampler is in excellent condition. The needlework is tiny and precise and there are no areas of stitch loss. Nor do there seem to be any pulled threads. The linen backing is clean and free of stains and rips. The colors have held up very well, with the green being especially strong. The pink/rose color may have faded slightly, but that adds to the mellowness of the entire piece. Without any additional clues other than her name, I was not able to figure out which of the numerous "Elizabeth Walkdens" who show up on the FamilySearch data base this girl was. Perhaps someone else will have better luck.
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