Mary Ann Bland Ricketts - Land Plat
Waltham Abbey, Essex, England
Rarely do you find a sampler so unique and exquisityly executed as this outstanding display of needlework. With impeccable detail, Mary Ann stitched an amazing mapped land plan of Waltham Abbey. Our overwhelming array of pictures still does not capture every bit of detail!
Mrs. Ricketts Farm Hill House became established as a girls' boarding school; Mrs. Ricketts was Mary Ann's aunt. In 1804 Mrs. Ricketts' niece, and Mary Ann's cousin, Miss M.A. Holdworth, took over until she wed in 1811. The Holdsworth family lived in Broomstick Hall, the estate located in the lower left corner of the sampler.
Centered, Mary Ann stitched her signature, with the actual title of the work down along to the right. The sampler is then filled with the indicated plots of land accented with the horses, cows, sheeps, pigs, chicks, dogs, cats, birds and peacocks residing throughout the properties. The use of chenille and French knots gives such texture to Mary Ann's work that you can't help but want to jump in! The detail is so precise that every fine black letter and even the needle of the compass have all been stitched. The animals themselves are full of expression. Notice that the plots of land are surrounded in chenille fencing, many outfitted with gates and French knots to create vegetation.
We also have to mention the tall basket filled with strawberries, the two farm houses and the blossoming border - further examples of Mary Ann's skill.
At the time this piece was stitched, imperial land measurements were done by A(cre), R(ood) and P(ole) or P(erch). One acre is 4840 square yards. One rood is 1210 square yards. Four roods equals roughly one acre. Perch and pole are interchangeable and one of either equals one square rod (not rood). Confused - we are!
Size (W x H): 24 x 31 1/2 inches
Stitches: Cross, cross-over-one, satin, long-short, French knot, stem, couching
Media: Silk on linen
John Rickets and Hester Holdsworth were married 1 August 1791. Their oldest child, Mary Ann Bland was born 30 July 1792 in Waltham Abbey, Essex, England. Siblings included Betty (1793), Sarah (1794), Edward Bland (1795-1816), John Bland (19 June 1801), Elizabeth Maria Bland (1802) and Thomas (1803).
Mary Ann married Sylvanus Miller 19 September 1822. We continue to search for further information.
This Plan Worked at Mrs Ricketts Farmhill House
Waltham Abbey Essex by Mary Ann Bland Ricketts
at FARM HILL
Broom Stick Hall
(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)