From her central motif and border, it’s obvious from first glance that our stitcher had a keen interest in flowers. The flowers chosen were mainly large and voluptuous and were done in small counted cross stitches in shades of green, gold and pink. The large wreath, which divides a religious verse, catches your attention before you can wander off to the beautiful twining border of full-blown English roses. There are also four bouquets of flowers in each border, adding to the sumptuous overall floral design.
The sampler was stitched on a very fine linen ground. Her border runs around the entire piece in an undulating fashion. Roses pop out from a myriad of leaves and rosebuds.
The sampler is signed, “M. Harding,” in the lower left-hand corner and dated “July 31 1847” in the lower right-hand corner.
It is in generally excellent condition. The linen has overall age toning that gives it a softer and more pleasant gold background color. There is a slight degree of insect damage toward the lower right-hand corner and a very few small holes that can barely be seen. The silk floss is still luminous, although faded somewhat.
It is housed in its original bird’s eye maple veneer frame with a small gilded slip. The maple is a pretty, soft honey-colored amber that works well with the colors in the sampler. There is a slight veneer loss in the lower right corner and some wear to its lower left corner. Otherwise, it is in excellent condition. The patination of the frame is quite pretty as well. There is some wear to the gilt on the lower right side of the gilded slip that exposes the gesso underneath. However, this is minor in a frame that is over a century-and-a-half old. The frame retains its original brass hanging ring on the top. I have taken it apart and cleaned thee glass. I have also put on hook eyes and a wire for more secure hanging.
With its central floral wreath, tiny counted cross stitching, exuberance of roses and here blooms, excellent condition and handsome bird’s eye maple frame, this is indeed a charming and pretty sampler.
It measures 20 inches wide by 16-1/2 inches high, including the frame.
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