Sampler depicting Conwy castle and suspension bridge, £5200 at Lockdales.

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It may be their early date, or their provenance and history - such as the Ackworth School samplers worked by girls in the Quaker school of that name or those made by children in orphanages and asylums - or it could be their subject matter.

In the case of this 2ft 1in x 17in (65 x 43cm) work (as much an embroidered picture as a sampler) it must have been the scene depicted.

While not particularly early (it was dated to the 1870s), and faded and mounted on a wooden board, it depicted a specific view: that of Conwy Castle and Suspension Bridge in Wales, as identified in an oval cartouche to the centre along with the faded embroiderer’s name and a date.

A located geographical scene has obvious attractions over a generic subject and when it came up for a sale at Lockdales (19.5% buyer’s premium) near Ipswich on March 5 it was no surprise despite the condition to see it outstrip a guide of just £40-60.

It ended up selling for £5200.