Measuring just under 2in (5cm) across, it was of huge interest for its embroidered subject matter: to one side is the profile of an African kneeling beneath a tree and to the other the words Pity the Poor Slave.
It probably dates from c.1830 (just before the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act freed more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and South Africa) and may have been produced at a Quaker school.
The Quaker School at Ackworth has records in its needlework archive of this image and others similar.
Collectors of anti-slavery material and those of needlework locked horns to buy this emotive piece that was estimated to bring £800-1200 on October 18. Ultimately it went on the phone to a needlework collector at £9000.
Auctioneer Andrew Hilton speculated: “Measuring and weighing so little, I wonder if this is not the best price paid per ounce or square inch for a piece of history.”