American early 18th century needlework alphabet sampler worked by Abigail White of Massachusetts, £5800 at Busby.

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Of the nine alphabet samplers offered by Busby (25% buyer’s premium) in Bridport, Dorset, on November 23 only one made more than £300 – but it made a lot more. Not only was it relatively early (1738), but it was sewn in colonial America by one Abigail White of Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Her 18 x 9in (46 x 23cm) needlework depicted white doves surrounding a fruit bearing tree, between two striped urns of flowers, underneath which it reads Abigail White did this sampler in the fifteen year of her age 1738. An old paper label verso documents its descent in the Hayward family of Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

Estimated at £600-800, it took £5800 from an online buyer.

Georgian example


Quaker-style needlework sampler by Mary Pritchard 1781, £5020 at Bleasdales.

A similar price greeted a later Georgian sampler offered as part of Bleasdales(20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) Online Winter Sewing Sale that closed on November 22.

Estimated at £100-200, the attractive needlework by Maria Pritchard 1781 sold at £5020. Although it had some moth damage, it was appealing for its Quaker style – a series of pictorial motifs and a verse on the merits of education housed within a hexagon.

Quaker maker

ATG No 2626 featured a Quaker band sampler dated 1695 worked by Elizabeth Phippard in silk on a linen ground that more than doubled its guide at Wilkinson’s on December 2-3 to take £12,500 hammer.