The End of the Skein
Sadler specialised in sentimental paintings of couples in old age, although the symbolism here - the end of the skein representing the approaching end of their lives - is unusual for him. The story is told through every accessory and detail in the painting. The room itself (and its decoration) must have been constructed around 1750, while the furniture and other objects can variously be dated through the period 1750 - 1830. The dress of the old couple indicates a date of around 1840 for the scene itself. This is their family home in which they have gradually accumulated their treasured possessions over many years. With them, therefore, a whole way of life is coming to an end.