The greatest number of Norfolk samplers have the stepped diamond as their main motif. It is always exciting to find a Norfolk sampler with so many elements the same and yet so different, especially in the layout. The elements that are of the Norfolk girls are the reclining deer atop hillocks, the particular types of fonts used in the alphabets, the dividing bands and the cartouches with the shaded corners and the bows of fruit.
Emma has five different alphabets separated by beautiful floral dividing bands. Her spotted deer are charming and it almost appears as if they are reading the alphabets. The next section has her verse and some floral motifs and tiny dogs on hillocks. The bottom section has the two cartouches with her signature in the center. There are lovely strawberries stitched in eyelets! She clearly liked strawberries as she did a strawberry border around the edge of the sampler.
This sampler was beautifully stitched and fortunately well cared for. The condition is wonderful and really allows you to appreciate what a fine embroiderer Emma was.
Size (W x H): 13 x 12 5/8 inches
Stitches: Cross, eyelet, cross-over-one
Media: Silk on fine linen
A handwritten note on the back of the frame reads "Emma Forster, daughter of John and Lucy Forster, born December 5th 1823, died January 17th 1856, burried in vault Rosary Cemetary, Norwich."
We can confirm that John Forster (age 55), an umbrella maker living in St. Michael's parish in Norwich is listed in the 1841 England Census, residing at the same residence as Lucy (50), Edwin (15), Arthur (12), Walter (10), Emma (17). By the 1851 census the family is John (now 64), Emma (27), Arthur (22) and Walter (20).
Emma's death was registered in the January-February-March 1856 Index.
Let me be wise in Youth, O Lord, that so
I safe may tread the path I ought to go ;
Lead me and learn me what is right and just,
For in thy help, O Lord, I put my trust.
(This sampler was added to the site on July 04, 2014)