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Sampler
1808
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Maria Bolles , American, 1798 - 1881
Embroidery; silk thread on a plain-woven, undyed linen ground
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 15 3/4 x 12 5/8in. (40 x 32.1cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Frank Richardson, in memory of Elizabeth Sophia Burritt Richardson
Gallery Copy: In contrast to the static, geometric quality of most sampler borders, Maria Bolles’s vine sprouts flowers both inside and outside of the border as it winds around the text. Colors, thread thicknesses, and stitches are carefully chosen and varied. The year after Maria completed her sampler, her family joined the migration of Connecticut residents to the frontier, removing to the Susquehanna Valley settlement at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. After her 1822 marriage, Maria moved again, to Iowa and then Wisconsin. Her sampler traveled even further west, to Wyoming and California, before returning to Connecticut with Maria’s great-granddaughter, whose husband donated it to the CHS in 1973.
Description: Sampler worked in dark brown, dark green, rust, light brown, light blue, dark blue, white and light green silk threads on a plain-woven linen ground, using cross stitch and other stitches. The sampler is rectangular, oriented vertically. It is laid out with a horizontal band of pictorial motifs, over three rows of two alphabets and the numbers 1 through 9, over two inscriptions, over a horizontal band of pictorial motifs at the bottom. The first inscription is a religious verse, "TEACH ME TO FEEL ANOTHERS WOE/ TO HIDE THE FAUTS I SEE/ THAT MERCY I TO OTHERS SHEW/ THAT MERCY SHEW TO ME." The second inscription is "Maria Bolles her Sampler made in the 11th/ Year of her age 1808". The first band of pictorial motifs includes, from left to right, a right-facing bird atop a branch, a left-facing flower, a left-facing bird atop a large basket of flowers, a right-facing flower, a left-facing bird atop a branch. The second band of pictorial motifs include, from left to right, a right-facing bird atop a branch, two trees with a left-facing bird on a branch, a basket of flowers, and a right-facing bird atop a florette. Certain lines of alphabets, numbers, and text are separated by various narrow borders, including straight and meandering lines. The sampler has a four-sided vine and flower border. The border has various branches emerging from it. The sampler has a 2/8-inch double-turned hem on the top, bottom and right sides, and a selvedge on the left side. The sampler is not framed or permanently mounted. It is encased in a covered mat. Letters and Numbers: There are two alphabets and the numbers 1-9. The letters are uppercase block in alphabet 1 and lowercase block in alphabet 2. The letters J and U are present in both alphabets. All lowercase letters with descenders, such as the letter 'g', are placed so the descender does not extend below the baseline. The lowercase letters in the verse are styled as uppercase letters. The letter 'z' in the lowercase alphabet encroaches the right border. Stitches: The principal stitch on the sampler is cross stitch (over two); it also includes cross (over one), queen, herringbone and rice stitches. Condition: The sampler has light to moderate fading, depending on the color. The sampler is not framed or permanently mounted. It is encased in a covered mat.
Object Number: 1973.104.0
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