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Family Register
about 1762
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Mary Hosmer Bidwell , Anglo-American, 1752 - 1839
Embroidery; silk thread on a plain-woven, undyed linen ground
Primary Dimensions (height x width of ground): 11 1/8 x 8 1/2in. (28.3 x 21.6cm) Component (height x width of worked area): 10 1/2 x 8in. (26.7 x 20.3cm)
Credit Line: The Newman S. Hungerford Museum Fund
Gallery Copy: The surface of ten-year-old Mary Bidwell’s family register is entirely covered with fine cross-stitches in green silk, making what might first appear to be an unpretentious piece, actually a conspicuous display of skill, labor, and materials. Needleworked family registers did not become popular until the 1820s. Predating that boom by over fifty years, this is the earliest known American example.
Description: Family register worked in dark green, yellow, and light blue silk threads on a plain-woven linen ground in cross stitches over two threads. The sampler is rectangular, oriented vertically. It is laid out with 15 rows of family record information, over an inscription. The inscription is "MARY BIDWELL IS MY NAME/ ENGLISH IS MY NATION/ HARTFORD IS MY DWELLING PL/ AND CHRIST IS MY SALVATION". The register is solidly stitched in green. There is a four-sided border. The only visible ground is at all four edges, which has been cut close to the worked area. The register is attached with small stitches to a green piece of linen. The linen is wrapped completely around a sturdy surface of unknown material. The sampler is not framed. Letters and Numbers: All letters are capitalized. Stitches: The sampler is worked in cross stitches over two threads. Condition: The register has been removed from its original mount, cut down at each edge, and sewn to a piece of green fabric on a rectangular mount. There are some areas of the embroidery that appear dull; this may be due to fading or water damage. The sampler is not framed.
Object Number: 2007.9.0
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