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Sampler
1792
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Eunice Ripley , American, 1782-1808
Embroidery; silk thread on a plain-woven, undyed linen ground
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 15 3/4 x 9 3/4in. (40 x 24.8cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Agnes A. and Mabel O. Ripley
Gallery Copy: Instead of the conventional arrangement of a courting couple flanking a central Tree of Life, ten-year-old Eunice Ripley depicted a woman alone with a tree, a goat, and six birds. One small blue bird perches on the woman’s hand. Depicted with a charming disregard for scale, certain costume details are very realistic: the fashionable white fichu at her neckline; the long, narrow sleeves with white ruffles; her full skirt set off with white floral sprigs; and a once bright pink sash at her waist. The birds evoke the popular saying, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
Description: Sampler worked in dark green, black, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, tan, blue-green, light blue, and cream silk threads on a plain-woven linen ground in cross and other stitches. The sampler is rectangular, oriented vertically. It is laid out with six rows of two alphabets, over an inscription, over a pictorial scene and three rows of one alphabet, which is on its side, at the bottom. The inscription is "Eunice Ripley was Born/ In The Year 1782/ Aged 10 Years October 25". The pictorial scene contains, from left to right, a front-facing woman wearing a long dress and holding a left-facing bird in her left hand, two birds (at least one is in flight), a left-facing bird atop a sprig, a tree containing a bird, and a left-facing goat. The motifs are not to scale. Along the right border is a lowercase alphabet, which is turned on its side; the right border of the sampler is parallel with the top of this alphabet. There is a large heart in the last line of the first alphabet. The sampler has a wide zig-zag border. The sampler has a 3/16-inch double-turned hem on the top and the side edges, and selvedge on the bottom edge. The sampler is not framed. Letters and Numbers: There are three alphabets. The first alphabet is very large. The letters are uppercase block in alphabets 1 and 2, and lowercase block in alphabet 3. The letter J is present in the third alphabet only; the letter U is present in all alphabets. The letter 'k' is missing from its usual place in the third alphabet; it stands alone at the end of the alphabet. In text, maker uses uppercase block letters to denote lowercase letters. Stitches: The principal stitch on the sampler is cross stitch over two threads; it is also worked in Algerian eye, cross stitch over one thread, tent, satin, Gobelin, outline, back and straight stitches. Condition: The sampler has minimal to severe fading, depending on color. It has several holes along former vertical and horizontal fold lines. The sampler is not framed.
Object Notes: The letter 'k' is missing from its usual place in the third alphabet; it stands alone at the end of the alphabet. In text, maker uses uppercase block letter to denote lowercase letters. (Wittman 6/2/2007) Note: The embroiderer's father, Jeremiah Ripley, was a judge in the Tolland County Court and a member of the legislature for several successive years. (Hunt 6/21/2007)
Object Number: 1955.24.1
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