Extraordinary pair of large, related school girl samplers in the same style and square shape, made one year apart by the Gledhill sisters: Mary and Caroline. The Gledhill surname is originally from Yorkshire, England, an area known for its needlework samplers. We have seen a similar sampler made in the 1830's by a student of the Byberry Friends / Quaker School of Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The larger sampler, made in 1837 by Mary, depicts a large, flat roof, Federal / Greek Revival style, two chimney, six column building with large trees and vegetation on each side and steps leading to a formal garden with a central pond. The mansion portrayed bears a resemblance to PenRys, also known as the old Bickley Place, a Bensalem mansion on the shores of the Delaware, and residence, at different times, of the Drexel, Wharton and Biddle families but it could very well be another historic building. It has a wide floral border of delicate white flowers and leaves and finely finished edges. The upper half has baskets of flowers and pairs of facing birds placed symmetrically on each side of the following twelve line verse from "A Believer's Prayer for Children":
Preserve me from the snares of youth
Grant me oh God the power of truth
Teach me to watch to pray to praise
And honour thee in all my ways
Great God of life and glory
Thou only canst defend me
Thy Power display, teach me to pray
And thy salvation send me
Teach me to love and praise thee
To hate the ways of folly
To spend my days in wisdom's ways
And live to thy own glory.
The smaller sampler, but still quite large, has a floral motif. It was done by Caroline in 1836 with silk threads in cornflower blue, shades of green, beige and brown--the same color scheme used by Mary.
Maker names and year the samplers were made are embroidered inside cartouches. Both samplers come ready to display in matching, 2" wide light gilt wood frames. In very good used condition with minor imperfections and losses to outer edges of floral one and wear to frames as shown. Additional photos available. Shipped professionally packed, fully insured with tracking number.
Architectural: Frame: 25 7/8" Wide by 25" High (65.7 cm W by 63.5 H); Sampler: 23 3/4" square approximately.
Floral: Frame: 19 11/16" by 19 13/16" (50 cm W by 50.3 cm H); Sampler: 17 5/8" square approximately.
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