M988.132 | Sampler

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Mary Sheepey
1764, 18th century
Silk on canvas laid on wood board
28.5 x 26 cm
M. René Boissay
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Needlework (2)
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The so-called Mary Sheepey sampler is another outstanding example of the early holdings of the McCord textile collection. Indeed, it is the earliest known Canadian sampler. Made by Mary Sheepey of Québec City in 1764, the textile is a little puzzling. Although the Lord's Prayer is in French, the extended version of the prayer is in the English tradition and the embroideress, Mary Sheepey, is English-speaking. The sampler was probably executed under the direction of a local French school or francophone embroideress, the inexpert quality of the stitching negating the idea of sophisticated embroidery apprenticeship abroad. The sampler is thus totally Canadian and quite unique.