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Curated Submission
Nottingham, England
1849 - 1850
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
29.5 x 24; 67 x 41
Materials & techniques
Wool, silk, linen; Cross stitch, embroidery
Gift of Tena Van Andell
Textile Museum of Canada T95.0287; T95.0288

Anne and Elizabeth Buxton were sisters who spent their childhood years in England with their five siblings. Elizabeth married in 1860 and her husband, Charles Cox, immigrated to Canada and settled in the Muskoka district. There he built a home in anticipation of the arrival of his wife and children, who landed at Quebec in 1884 and travelled by rail and steamer to Bracebridge, Ontario. Anne Buxton remained in England. Like many newcomers arriving in Canada at that time, Elizabeth’s family endured hardships, but they established themselves and prospered. Elizabeth became a midwife and assisted many of the local pioneer families with the births of their children.

On her sampler, Anne has embroidered tulips in pots and bunches of grapes, typical designs of the 19th century. Elizabeth has featured dogs and a squirrel. The squirrel can represent mischief; it is a common animal depicted on samplers and is often associated with autumn.

Elizabeth would have brought these two samplers with her on her long journey to Canada as treasured reminders of her sister, extended family, and the life she was leaving behind. These samplers, individual expressions of two young sisters, link the quest of Elizabeth and her family for a better life in Canada with the local stories of the settlement and growth of a community in Ontario.

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