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Leading the day at the Leyburn auction on August 18 was a fine early 19th century quilt, with an unusual embroidered central panel.

The work of one Hannah Langdale in 1834, it featured exceptionally fine embroidery, particularly for a 13-year-old.

Overall, the cotton quilt measured 8ft 6in x 7ft 10in (2.6 x 2.4m) and the large central square was embroidered with a bouquet surrounded by more flowers, birds and butterflies.

It was estimated at £500-800 and although more was hoped for (it was highlighted as a featured lot), the winning £7800 bid from a London collector against New York phone interest was still a welcome surprise.

The early 19th century work of an even younger seamstress, a Scottish sampler by Jean Anderson, aged nine, more than doubled the top estimate.

The framed 16½in x 22in (42 x 56cm) sampler depicted flower motifs and a figure in front of a house, along with a central religious verse. Two cartouches enclosing thistles were stitched Evil to him that thinks evil and I have power to defend myself and others.

The intriguing combination of a royal motto and a warning that Scottish girls are tough stuff from a tender age may have helped bidding, but more likely it was the astonishingly quality of the sewing which pushed a collector to a winning £2500.

Silk robe in Scarborough


A detail of a late Qing uncut silk robe – £7200 at David Duggleby.

Four-figure prices for textiles these days more often mean works from China, such as the late Qing uncut silk robe offered at the David Duggleby (20% buyer’s premium) August 18 sale at Scarborough.

Measuring 9ft 9in x 4ft 11in (3 x 1.50m), the robe was heavily embroidered in satin and gilt threads with dragons chasing the flaming pearl, Shou medallions, bats and clouds and carried a signature.

There were some areas of staining and fraying to the edges but the main embroidered panels had kept their bold colour.

The robe, estimated at £500-800, attracted internet bidding and five phone bidders before selling to a Chinese bidder on the phone at £7200.