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1811 School Girl Needlework Sampler Mary Newton Born 1800 Teacher School House Bird Plant
This is a fabulous 1811 School Girl Needlework Sampler by Mary Newton Born 1800, that includes the Teacher, School, House, Bird, Plant and more. It was done in naturally dyed silk on linen in shades of blue, brown, pink, and black. The overly proportioned bird is a tour de force. Not only is it the central focal point of the sampler, but it sits in the middle of a very stylized and captivating selection of flowers and leaves all stemming from a large decorated bowl, urn or flower basket. The bird has a large beak, detailed wings, fanciful split tail feathers, long legs and large eye. The strawberry border frames the piece on all four sides, and a large carnation fills the top right corner. There is a stylized insect with four wings suggesting a dragonfly, while a butterfly circles above the brick building (perhaps the school). The top of the brick tower hints at a weathervane sitting at the peak. Additional flora is beautifully placed. The other tall building has five brick chimneys, a hip roof, three stories or floors, a fence with gate, and a wall. Perhaps this is Mary’s house. It would seem that she was rather wealthy. The sampler is beautifully executed by Mary’s hand. She has signed it as well, reading from the left and continuing across the basket: Mary Newton Worked this/ Sampler with Mrs Brownin/ LLandrinio School in the/ Year of our lord 1811/ being then 11 years old. There are some small holes below“of our lord”. There is a darkish vertical streak going down the left side and some other aging to the fabric as would be expected. The linen ground is all very finely hand spun and hand woven. I have not touched the sampler nor have I taken it out of the frame. The sampler measures (including the 1 1/4 inch wide frame) 18 1/2 inch long and 14 3/4 inch wide. The sampler came out of a house north of Boston Massachusetts (Beverly, which is right along the north shore.) Some time ago, the sampler was framed using non-glare glass and an antique looking frame. The framer was located in Brookline, Massachusetts (south of Boston not far from Beverly). This is not a practice alphabet marking sampler, but one stitched by an accomplished student. And it has profuse documentation including her name, the year of her birth (1800), the teacher, the year the sampler was stitched and the school. The design and execution is extraordinary and a sampler of fine distinction.
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