Elisabeth Stewart

Scottish Samplers

Elisabeth Stewart


Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire


Interesting, perhaps more aptly described as infamous, is this sampler by Elisabeth Stewart. This sampler was up for sale when Naomi Tarrant brought it to the attention of the auction house that it was a historic reproduction.  It follows the design of all the samplers and lists Fraserborough, way north of Aberdeen, and is dated 1823. Ms. Tarrant indicated the size of the sampler and the ground as several of the indicators of it being a reproduction and done most likely 100 years after 1823.  A photograph of the original sampler by Elisabeth Stewart, incorrectly labeled as American, is available in "The Treasury of Decorative Art - Samplers", by Susan Mayor & Diana Fowle (1996), page 41.

Whoever stitched this sampler gave it their all to replicate the Hawick motifs - pedimented house, oversized flower with a garland and most frequently stitched verse. Even the initials are the same as on the original! 

Familial initials: LD, AS, AS, JM, JM, ES, GS, ID, AF, ES, IS, CL, ED, MM, AD

Size (W x H): 13 1/4 x 24 1/2 inches

Stitches: Cross, hem, chain, satin

Media: Silk on linen


We will never know! 



Virtue is the chiefest beauty of the mind
The noblest ornament of humankind
Virtue is our safeguard and our guiding star .
That stirs up reason when our senses err .

March 12 1812


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Additional Information

Fraserburgh is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It lies at the extreme northeast corner of Aberdeenshire, around 40 miles (64 km) north of Aberdeen, and 17 miles (27 km) north of Peterhead. It is the largest shellfish port in Europe, and is also a major white fish port and busy commercial harbour.

The name of the town means, literally, 'burgh of Fraser', after the Fraser family that bought the lands of Philorth in 1504 and thereafter brought about major improvement due to investment over the next century. Fraserburgh became a burgh of barony in 1546.

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(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)