Similar items over time

Sampler - 'In Books or Work of Helpful Play', Mary Smith, Moulton, England, Jun 1820 Object Reg. No: SH 880700

Sampler made by Mary Smith (later Spencer) and brought out to Australia in 1842, it travelled with her by bullock cart to Iron Bark and Mt Abundance.

Mary Spencer gave the sampler and a wooden doll to her daughter Manyanna, who cherished them all her long life. When she died in 1926 various family members possessed them until they were purchased by the Museum in 1988.
This sampler belongs with wooden doll No. 88.534.2. Unbleached linen square decorated with simple floral and line border. Alphabet in capitals and lower case, numbers 1-8 embroidered in top panel. Central panel flanked by tree, dog and insect motifs.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 30.20 cm (Width), 32.60 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: handcrafts, english immigration, brought goods, childhood
Themes this item is part of: Mary Spencer, English Migrant (1808-1866), Getting In, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2003-2015, Childhood & Youth Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Migration Collection
Primary Classification: ART & CRAFT
Secondary Classification: Needlework
Tertiary Classification: samplers
Inscriptions: Text: In Books or Work or Healthful Play/Let my firft years be paft Day/That I may give for ev'ry/Some good Account at laft/ Mary Smith/Moulton June/1820.
Maker: Mary Spencer, Moulton, England, Great Britain, Jun 1820
Place & Date Used: New South Wales, Australia, 1842

Mary brought the sampler with her when she migrated from England.
References: The Smith/Spencer family archives are held at the Oxley Library, Brisbane; other family memorabilia may have been donated to the Queensland Museum.

Susanna de Vries has a chapter on Mary Spencer's daughter in her book Females on the Fatal Shore (2009) but with no reference to the archives in Queensland or the MV holdings.


Pam Edmonds Posted on 29 Jul 2013 3:28 PM
The book Females on the Fatal Shore by Susanna de Vries regarding the the Spencer family contains many errors and should not be regarded as research material.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.

Similar items

Yes No