A simple, yet colorful American Needlework Marking Sampler by Martha Forwood, undated but most likely c. 1830. Coarse linen backing with 3 iterations of the alphabet, the numbers 1-0, a block of what appears to be family initials (at least the second letter is always an `F' in the upper right), Martha's name (toward the bottom, on the left in faded rose-colored silk thread) and a non-religious verse: "Omit no opportunity to do good. You will then fin no opportunity to do evil." And finally, at the very bottom right, Martha has dated the sampler March 11 (and seems to have run out of room for the year, sadly!). There is a strawberry border on the left and right, and although I have not had the sampler out of its contemporary, but appropriate wooden frame, the top and bottom margins appear in tact. The sampler measures 12 ½" x 8" (sight) and with the frame, the overall size is 13 ½" x 8 ¾".
The sampler, except for some fading of some of the usual light colors (which sadly includes Martha's name), is in very good condition, with no staining, nor any holes, rips or tears. Even the faded stitching can be read. Martha seems to have used color randomly, with the reds black and dark blue/green really standing out.
Marking samplers were usually the first needlework done by children: it taught the important skills or stitchery and also the alphabet. I tried to find a Martha Forwood born c. 1818-1822, but there were too many in the genealogical databases to make an accurate guess. A nice example at a modest price.