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Pair of Samplers
1835-1843
Embroiderer:Right sampler embroidered by Fanny Maria Case , American, 1819 - 1843
Embroidery; silk thread on a plain-woven, undyed linen ground; glass, wood
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 22 1/2 x 39 5/8in. (57.2 x 100.6cm)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Gallery Copy: The similar layout, color palette, diamond outer border, verse layout, and wording of signatures, suggest that these sisters worked under the same instructor. Laura, the younger sister, made a slightly more advanced sampler. Her queen stitches used in the diamonds are one of the most intricate and time-consuming sampler stitches. Compare Fanny’s quicker cross-stitches. Laura’s front-gabled white house is one of the first examples of a vernacular farmhouse to appear on a Connecticut sampler, replacing more formal Georgian mansions seen earlier.
Description: Pair of samplers worked in dark blue, dark green, olive green, red, brown, khaki, white, and light blue silk threads on an undyed plain-woven linen ground, using cross stitch and other stitches. The samplers are roughly square and framed side-by-side in a rectangular wooden frame (original frame and glass). The sampler on the left is laid out with five rows of three alphabets and the numbers one to twelve, over two columns of religious verse, over an inscription, over a horizontal band of pictorial motifs at the bottom. The religious verse is "On earth when friends together meet/ And find the passing moments sweet/ Times rapid motion soon compel/ Wich [sic] grief to say dear friends farewell./ The happy season soon will come/ When saints shall meet in heaven their home/ Eternally with Christ to dwell/ Moreover hear the sound farewell." The inscription is "Laura L. Case's/ Sampler/ Marked in the 12th year of her age/ AD 1836"; it is inside a rectangular wreath with canted corners. The pictorial motifs include, from left to right, a large basket of flowers flanked by a bird, a house with three chimneys, a smaller group of flowers with two birds on top, and a spray of flowers. These motifs are not in scale. The lines of text and verse are separated by narrow horizontal lines in various stitches and thread colors. All four sides of the sampler have a border of squares on point; each square is outlined in dark green or blue threads and filled in with lighter colors. The sampler on the right is laid out with eight rows of five alphabets and the numbers one to twelve (twice), over two lines of inscription, two columns of religious verse, an inscription inside a wreath, a second inscription and a horizontal band of pictorial motifs at the bottom. The two lines of inscription are "Fanny M. Case's. Sampler marked in the/ 16th year of her age. Canton July 8th 1835". The religious verse is "Let me improve the hours I have/ Before the day of grace is fled/ Theres no repentance in the grave/ No pardon offered to the dead/ O may some nobler thoughts employ/ Than empty transient sublunary [?sic] joys/ The sun shall lose his flame same/ But thou O God forever shines the [sic]". The two columns of verse are separated by an oval wreath containing the inscription and initials "when this you/ see remember me/ F C". The second inscription (later addition) consists of "She died Febuary 12th 1843 AE 24". The pictorial motifs include, a basket of flowers with two birds in the center, two sprays of flowers, and two smaller sprays of flowers with birds. The lines of text and verse are separated by horizontal lines in various stitches and thread colors. All four sides of the sampler have a border of squares on point; each square is in three different colors of thread. Each sampler is nailed directly to a series of thin wooden boards, or shingles, which are vertically oriented. These are held in the frame with nails through the back edges of the frame. The frame has wide, shallow ogee molding on all sides; the samplers are separated by a wooden vertical divider. The glass appears to be original. Letters and Numbers: Left Sampler (Laura L. Case): There are three alphabets and the numbers 1 - 12. The letters are upper case cursive in alphabet 1, upper case block in alphabet 2, and lower case block in alphabet three. The letters J and U are present in all three alphabets. The s in the third alphabet is a long s. All lower case letters with descenders are placed so the descender does not extend below the baseline. Right Sampler (Fanny M. Case): There are five alphabets and the numbers 1 - 12, twice. The letters are upper case cursive in alphabet 1, upper case block in alphabet 2, lower case block in alphabets 3 and 4, and upper case block in alphabet 5. The letters J and U are present in all five alphabets. Alphabet 3 has a long s. Alphabet 4 has two Ps and no Q. All lower case letters with descenders are placed so the descender does not extend below the baseline. Stitches: Left Sampler (Laura L. Case): The principal stitch on the sampler is cross stitch (over two); it also includes rococo and cross stitch (over one). Right Sampler (Fanny M. Case): The principal stitch on the sampler is cross stitch (over two); it also includes cross stitch (over one). Thread count: Left Sampler (Laura L. Case): 22 warp x 25 weft per inch. Right Sampler (Fanny M. Case): 25 warp x 25 weft per inch. Condition: Each sampler is moderately faded and lightly yellowed, with a vertical crease down the center. The rightmost sampler has additional stains at the center and lower right corner. The lower left corner of the leftmost piece of glass is missing a large chip. Small areas of veneer are missing from the outside edges of the frame.
Object Number: 1987.201.0
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