Isabella Brown

Scottish Samplers

Isabella Brown, age 9




An alphabet sampler with capital letters and numbers 1 to 9 and 1-11. Above the verse is an unusual and complex pattern we've dubbed the Carnation Lattice. The pattern is formed by diagnonal rows of small two-toned circles. The rows intersect and form diamonds and half-diamonds. A carnation is stitched within each open space. Trees flank both this pattern and the verse below. Below the verse Isabella stitched her signature. A row of crowns with initials is next, followed by more flowering plants, trees, a bowl of fruit and birds. A simple undulating floral border is around all four sides.

Familial initials: MH, DD, GB, JB, GB, JB, MB, JB, JB, CB, JB, TB, LB

Size (W x H): 12 3/4 x 14 inches

Stitches: Cross, eyelet, double running, satin, reverse cross

Media: Silk on linen


We believe our Isabella was born 10 March 1816 in Edinburgh, the daughter of John Brown, a merchant, and Janet Skinner. Siblings were James (1804), George (1806), Euphemia (1808), Mary (1810), John (1814), Grace (1819) and Lydia (1821). Potential paternal grandparents are James Brown, a wright in Charles Street, and Marion Ballantine.


I'm not asham'd to own my Lord
Or defend his cause
Maintain the glory of his cross
And honor all his laws

Isabella Brown Aged 9 Edin' 1826

Visit our interactive map of samplers »
Click on samplers to view larger.
This sampler has


Do you have

Other information

related to this sampler? Contact Us ›

(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)

Additional Information

A sampler by Janet Rankin at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow has this same unusual diamonded pattern. It was featured in the exhibit catalog entitled Patterns of Childhood, page 228. Janet's version is much larger and is part of a more complex sampler, dated 1809.