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M. Cunningham 1871 - PDF DOWNLOAD

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Animals on samplers, including cows, can be found on needlework from over 350 years ago. It was not uncommon for samplers to contain motifs that represented a favorite pet or the household cat, a favorite dog or even the family’s talking parrot. Some samplers include rabbits, fowl, peacocks, butterflies, lions, unicorns, and even zebras.

A cow on this sampler might mean the stitcher’s family had a favorite milk cow or were dairymen. Perhaps, M. Cunningham was from Ayrshire, a county in the southwest region of Scotland recognized as the home of the Ayrshire, a breed of brown dairy cows similar to the well-known black and white holstein milk cow. Ayrshire cattle typically have dark-brown-red and white markings —and in some cases the red may range from a dark shade of orange to a dark chocolaty brown.