One of the most elusive of all 19th century needlework pieces are Watch Samplers, small, round stitched items, usually made by a wife or daughter to be kept inside the case of a gentleman’s pocket watch. They are usually between 1 ¾” and 2 ¼” in diameter and sometimes have decorations, sometimes initials and on rare occasions, a full name or motto. As you can well imagine, very few have survived.
Here is a wonderful crewel work example, decorated with rose flower buds and leaves in very subtle colors on silk. The sampler is about 2” in diameter and has been framed in a round wooden shadow box frame, 4 ¼” in diameter. The sampler is in very fine condition with no rips, tears or missing stitches. The crewel work is very fine. There is some light staining and a slight running of the blue dye, probably because at some point the little sampler got wet. These are noted for accuracy, but in no way detract from the rarity and beauty of the piece. This example is probably English in origin.