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Stephen & Carol Huber: 17th - 19th Century Needlework

Lord Mayor's Day sampler from Huber

Lydia Sheldrake
Needlework sampler honoring Lord Mayor's Day
Epsom, England dated 1898

This little sampler opens the door to a lot of history. It is inscribed: Lord Mayor's Day November 9/ Lydia Sheldrake July 28, 1898.

What is Lord Mayor's Day anyway? If you like parades, how about one that started back in the year 1215 when King John granted a charter allowing the citizens of London to elect their own mayor. King John instituted one major condition: each year the new mayor must travel from the City to Westminster to swear loyalty to the crown. The lavishness of the parade has increased to the point that it is now known as the Lord Mayors Show.

Every year up to 1711 they walked or rode horses. In 1711 Sir Gilbert Heathcote was thrown from his horse and broke his leg which prompted the use of a coach from then on. In 1757 the coach was replaced with an elaborately decorated carriage complete with an entourage of accompanying horses.

So, why was Lydia was so enthralled with Lord Mayor's Day that she made it the subject of her sampler? Well, a new replica of the 1757 carriage was on its maiden outing in 1897 and no doubt that year the festivities and parade were exceptionally spectacular. It so happens that would have been the same Lord Mayor's Day parade that 11 year old Lydia probably observed just a few months before she stitched her sampler. The excitement of the outing, going nine miles up to London, all the festivities and the ride back home, must have made quite an impression on her.

Lydia (If I have the right Lydia Sheldrake) was the youngest of nine children born to Henry Buxton Sheldrake and Harriet Gibbs all from Epson, Surry, UK.

Red cotton on linen; 7 ½" x 18 ¼" framed.

$5,500 or $300 you decide.

(860) 388-6809


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