We have a wall in one part of our little bungalow that never gets any direct sunlight. On that wall we have the oldest thing in the house (I think). It’s small Tapestry carefully and beautifully made by a 12 year old girl called Elizabeth Walgate over 200 years ago.

The photo doesn’t do it justice and I don’t want to move it to try for a better angle – just too fragile. I don’t know anything about Elizabeth or the tapestries history. It’s been passed down my partners family for generations. What forgotten stories are forever hidden amongst your fragile fibres. What I do know is that it’s now in our son’s custody and he treasures it.

70 thoughts on “Oldest thing

  1. Its a wonderful treasure to have, I have one my great, 3x great-grandmother did, another Elizabeth dated 1816, when she was 9 years old, she lived to a 100. Not as bright as yours, but still a great treasure to me, Elizabeth could be a relation to your son, you could do some family history with him 🙂

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  2. It’s absolutely exquisite. What a beautiful, beautiful tapestry.
    Both my parents are dead and my sister and I have inherited all of their belongings. How I wish I’d asked what their history was and where they came from. But I guess we never ask enough questions until it’s too late.

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  3. It’s beautiful. I believe samplers were embroidered or stitched by young ladies as a test of their needlework skills. I’ve seen some in antique shops and on TV for auction programmes.
    As it’s on the wall of your property, have you checked the title deeds and tried to trace the family that way? The history would be fascinating.

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  4. Incredible treasure!

    You might want to consider contacting a museum, art gallery or university for advice on how to preserve it. Being framed and out of direct sunlight is already saving it. There is special glass now available that protects are from the effects of sunlight, but you would probably want to have a professional reframe it.

    I am so glad that you and your son love and appreciate this amazing piece of art, and that an ancestor of yours took the time and effort to frame it. 200 years ago, samplers were just things girls were made to to do, to learn their womanly skills. I recalled reading about one where the girl stitched in “[name] made this [date] and hated every stitch.” *L* They were the stitch dictionaries of the times, so they were meant to be taken out and used for reference, as needed. It’s partly why so few have survived.

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