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Sampler
1775
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Esther Carrington , American, 1766 - 1855
Embroidery; silk thread on a plain-woven, undyed linen ground; glass, wood
Primary Dimensions (height x width of frame): 13 5/8 x 10 3/4in. (34.6 x 27.3cm) Primary Dimensions (height x width of ground): 11 3/4 x 9 1/8in. (29.8 x 23.2cm)
Credit Line: The Newman S. Hungerford Museum Fund
Gallery Copy: Few signed and dated samplers are known from Connecticut before the American Revolution, and pictorial examples are even rarer, so this accomplishment of nine-year-old Esther Carrington is quite unusual. Even the complexity of the stitches is unusual (most samplers are simply cross-stitched). Alphabets are typical parts of samplers, and looking closely reveals the fluidity of lettering in the period. Notice variations in the two uppercase alphabets with neither including a J, and only the second has a U, displayed out of sequence as VU. The lowercase alphabet shows j, u, and v in standard position.
Description: Sampler worked in dark green, tan, light blue, light brown, medium brown, gold, dark brown, purple, pink and cream silk threads on a plain-woven linen ground using cross and other stitches. The sampler is rectangular, oriented vertically. It is laid out with a horizontal stylized band, over seven rows of three alphabets and the numbers 1 through 10, over an inscription, over a horizontal band of pictorial motifs at the bottom. The inscription is "Esther Carrington Born March 1/ Ageed [sic] 9 Year 1775". The horizontal band of pictorial motifs includes, from left to right, a plant, a tree, an unidentified object (possibly a bird) atop a large plant, a tree, and a plant. Certain lines of alphabets, numbers and text are separated by various narrow borders. The sampler has a four-sided narrow border. The sampler has a 2/8 inch double-turned hem on all four edges. The sampler is attached to a piece of fabric with stitches in maroon thread. There are three pieces of an unidentified material between the sampler and the fabric backing. The sampler is loose in a later frame. Letters and Numbers: There are three alphabets, the numbers 1-10, and additional letters or numbers. The letters are uppercase block in alphabets 1 and 2, and lowercase block in alphabet 3. The letter J is not present in any alphabet; the letter U is present in the second and third alphabets. The letter W is repeated (not consecutively) in the first alphabet; the letter A is in triplicate in the third alphabet; the first two are uppercase block, i.e., AAa. In the second alphabet UV is presented as VU. Number 1 is presented as the letter J. The letters NO in the second alphabet are mostly missing; same with "r" in the third alphabet. Stitches: The principal stitch on the sampler is cross stitch over two threads; it is also worked in satin, Algerian eye, outline (or stem), chain and cretan stitches. Condition: The sampler probably has light to moderate fading, depending on the color. The letters NO in the second alphabet are mostly missing; same with "r" in the third alphabet. The sampler is loose in a frame.
 
Object Number: 2006.60.1
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