Attributed to the Boston School of “Fishing Lady” Needlework. This needlework displaying an upright couple within an elaborate pastoral landscape featuring animals and flowers; depicted is a man in red coat with horn followed by a running dog, and a lady wearing a pink striped dress carrying floral basket on her head and staff in her hand. The work includes flanking trees, birds and butterflies; a black and white spotted dog, three lambs, and flowering plants, all before a large house on hillock issuing smoke from chimney. LITERATURE: A closely related needlework picture dated 1746, (Winterthur collection), is illustrated in Betty Ring'sGirlhood Embroidery, volume I, page 46, figure 43. Betty mentions another in Historical Society of Old Newbury. (The work remains on original stretcher and is mounted within a period frame that may also be original; some thread thinning and fading, else fine and original; frame: 23 x 17.25”; view: 19.75 x 14”)
Measurement: Frame: 16.5" x 19.5"; view: 16.75" x 13.75"
Material: Silk on linen
Additional Information: Maria Cressy was born November 30 1817 in Bradford, NH
and wrought this sampler at aged 9 while attending a yet unidentified school. A lush
floral border featuring six birds centers two alphabets and verse. An accompanying
handwritten note mentions she danced with President Franklin D, Pierce at a ball given
in his honor. Pierce was a native of NH and president of the US from 1853 to 1857.
Genealogical records indicate she died in Michigan on 6 Aug 1881.
Measurement: Frame: 20.75" x 21.75"; view: 19.25" x 18"
Material: Silk on gauze and paper
Condition: Very good, strong color; a few trivial scattered little losses to gauze limited
to top left and bottom right borders. The stitching is perfect with bright colors; some
slight waviness in a vertical orientation caused by the paper under the gauze. Displays
Additional Information: This stunning graphic and colorful sampler is worked on very
fine gauze backed with paper. The embroidery is worked through the gauze and paper.
The solidly stitched columns and arched sky with a pair of doves frame the family
register inscribed: Silas Buss/ Born Sept 10/ 1799 – Sally Moore/ Born June 29/ 1801 –
Married Jan./ 13 1825 – Harriet M. Buss – Born Mar. 9 1826. The flowers at the bottom
and the three-sided flowering vine border enhance this unusually graphic sampler. Silas
died at age 72, Sally at age 86, and Harriet apparently never married and died in
Charlotte, North Carolina at age 69.
Between 1863 and 1871, Harriet M. Buss of Sterling, Massachusetts, taught former
slaves in three different regions of the South, in coastal South Carolina, Norfolk,
Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. A white, educated Baptist woman, she initially
saw herself as on a mission to the freed people of the Confederacy but over time
developed a shared mission with her students and devoted herself to training the next
generation of Black teachers. See: My Work among the Freedmen the Civil War and
Reconstruction Letters of Harriet M. Buss by Harriet M. Buss. Edited by Jonathan W.
White and Lydia J. Davis, October 2001, University of Virginia Press.
Measurement: Frame: 17.5" x 17.5"; view: 15.75" x 15.75"
Material: Silk threads and crinkled silk floss on linen
Condition: Excellent (frame is later)
Additional Information: Sally worked crossed cornucopias outlined in blue at the
bottom of her sampler…issuing plush vines and flowers that are tied in a bowknot at the
top. She stitched several alphabets, a virtuous poem and inscribed the sampler, “Wrought by Sally Abbot aged 11 years. June 6th 1818.” Sally was born November 3,
1806, in Newburyport, MA, the daughter of Daniel and Sally Abbot who eventually
moved to Peterborough with their four children. She married Jefferson Fletcher, a
clothier, on May 6, 1830. They had two children and moved to Westford, MA, where
Sally’s father and sister Jane also made their home.
Literature: The work is pictured and discussed in Samplers & Samplermakers – An
American Schoolgirl Art 1770-1850 by mary Jaene Edmonds, pp. 72 and 73, plate 28.
Exhibited: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 7, 1991 – February 2, 1992.
Additional Information: Within the border is a neatly compartmentalized poem
surmounted by a pair of angels and a pair of birds; other birds, plants and floral devises
center the work. The sampler is mounted within an antique frame made of oak.
Condition: Very Good, scattered minor staining to fabric as depicted
Additional Information: The crossbanded mahogany string-inlaid shield form frame
centers a silk embroidered bouquet of flowers tied with bowknot. Lovely, belted vase
and ring-turned standard raised on successful sting-inlaid spider legs continuing to
Worked with silk threads and silk floss on linen
The stylistic format of Martha Pickering’s sampler-featuring a distinctive birdhouse and pyramid-shaped trees-was employed in Portsmouth as early as 1810 and continued to be favored until 1840. Works from this group include the month, day, and year that the sampler was embroidered. A picket fence attaches the house to barn; a single bird is usually perched on the gatepost, and a birdhouse (with chimney) is mounted on a pole elevated above the barns roof; there is a bird perched on the roofs peak. Anotherschool tradition is the use of trees, they are always wrought in odd numbers of one, three, or five, depending on available space based on the width of the sampler; foliage is embroidered cross-stitches. Depicted in this work is a bird atop the center tree. This needlework sampler remains in superb original condition and is archivally mounted within an attractive modern frame. (Frame: 21" x 20"; view: 17.5" x 16.5")
The work remains in good condition with only fading and scattered staining. (Frame: 19.5 x 18 inches; view: 15.5 x 14 inches)
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