A sampler made by Catherine Gaunt at the Glasgow Orphan Institution, early 19th century.
Schoolgirls often made samplers as part of their education in domestic skills, using a variety of embroidery stitches. The repetition of the alphabet was intended to improve literacy, and it was common to copy "improving" quotes from the Bible. Catherine Gaunt was an orphan and would have had to fend for herself when she left the orphanage. The ability to sew and to read and write would improve her chances of gaining employment.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
embroidery, girls, Glasgow Orphan Institution, orphanages, orphans, samplers, sewing