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1774 American Needlework Sampler by Ruth Hovey, Oxford, MA w/ Genealogy
A crisp and clean 18th Century American sampler, dated 1774, by Ruth Hovey, born 1763 in Oxford, MA. The sampler includes Ruth's full name twice and "Ruth HO..." (she ran out of room – her spacing wasn't so good!). It also reads "Ruth Hoveys Sampler in the 12 year of her age 1774." The colors, which have held up remarkably well, include green, dark red or rust (for the date, among other letters), brown, tan, pink and white. Sight size of the sampler is 7 7/8" x 10 ¾" and it is framed in an early 19th Century (but NOT original to the sampler) grain painted frame (overall frame size is11" x 13 ¾").
Ruth Hovey was born in Oxford, MA (small Worcester County town, South of Worcester, MA, near the Rhode Island border) in 1763. In 1785, she married Sylvanus Towne, also of Oxford (it was his second marriage), and they had 4 children. She died in 1837. Sylvanus, who was born in 1750, fought in the Revolution with Crafts ` Cavalry Company, at the Battle of Saratoga, served as a justice of the peace, a Col. Of the Militia and businessman in Oxford. A packet of genealogical information is included with the sampler.
The sampler is in excellent condition, remarkable, given its age. The colors have held up extremely well, and the lines that are hard to read on the photos are complete, just some of the lighter colors (such as the beige) blend with the darkish linen backing. There are no rips, tears or holes, stitch loss is at a minimum and there is one small (1/4") stain at the lower left (in the "U" of Ruth) and a very small (also approx.. ¼") thin spot in the linen backing, above the "M" in the next to the last line.
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Michael Weinberg, Pelham, MA