The Betty Ring schoolgirl sampler collection went up for sale at Sothebys on January 22, 2012. Betty Ring is the preeminent scholar and collector of 18th/ 19th century schoolgirl needlework.
Her 2 volume encyclopedic set “Girlhood Embroidery” is an authority on the subject. The set is her life work, investigating and bringing to light the early teachers and female pupils associated with the practical study of needlework.
The highlight of the auction at Sothebys was the Mary Antrim Burlington County sampler, dated 1807. Sothebys gave a high estimate of $120,000. To the astonishment of the hushed room, this remarkable piece of presentation needlework easily soared past the estimate to a total of $890,000. plus 25% commission. However, this wasn't a record price. That happened in 1996 at Sothebys when the Hannah Otis over mantel canvas-work sampler sold for $1,200,000.