Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who to pick?

A collection of Samplers:

So I was intrigued but Cindy mentioning that young ladies may have used the sampler as a means of showing off their homemaking skills with intent at attracting husbands. So I went through a box and chose two as if they were possible mates and one because of its age.

Let’s start with the oldest one.


This is a small nearly square piece of linen cloth that is about seven by seven inches.

It begins with the alphabet in capital letters and then goes into the lower case followed by numbers 1-10 the ten being represented by a 0.

It seems the name Polly has lost a part of the y so Polly looks like Poll/ and her last name is Berolon?

Her city is listed as Richmond and the year 1797. I guessing this is Richmond, Virginia. For all I know there could be a Richmond, NY but I am guessing it is the later.

I am thinking this is an early sampler of a very young girl because there are no specialized pictures, shapes or poems on this piece and it is small. I know that early pattern books would have been expensive so perhaps this is an attempt at creating a practice pattern.

The threads are light green, a brownish copper and black.

Now Sarah Woods looks to be a catch. This is a larger sampler. With a repeated alphabet pattern at the top with chains, zig zags and Grecian looking trim between the other letters and numbers.

Where as the Poll/ sampler was done with simple x patterns of embroidery this is much more complex. The vines, the fruits, and the numbers are all stitched in multiple xs and the various patterns separating the letters are thicker and more ornate.

The parameter of the piece is done in olive thread and the length has two blue threads that run it and the bottom and top have simple running stitches to hem it.

Sarah is clearly more adept at Poll/. She is spiritual, fastidious and dedicated. Plus Sarah is my favorite name, so my matrimonial leanings’ are for Sarah at this point

Now we get to Cornelia Pratt. I was drawn to the work. It is colorful and ambitious but a little messy and less precise than Sarah’s. Perhaps a free spirit?

Only problem, she is age 9; this is listed next to her name along with the year of 1819, which has her being born in 1800.

The threads are brightly colored so it is silk. Blue, green, bight blues and am lively type color for the main vase.

So thankfully for Cornelia, she is too young to wed and has more time for practice. I will have to go with Sarah.

1 comment:

falkcg said...

My guess is that Sarah was probably only 12, maybe 14 max. so really too yound to marry immediately.

Did all the girls use silk thread on a linen ground? This says something about their families' economic status. Is the linen hand spun and hand woven? Were these other skills the girls were learning? Or, did they have money to buy fine linen?

Something else to consider is whether these samples were made at school. It would be heard to tell this unless you find others of similar design.