Collecting American samplers in Southern California

HAROLD B. "HAL" NELSON is Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

  1 The exhibition takes is title from a verse in Anne Moulton's sampler (see p. 147), which reads: "How blest the maid whom circling years improve, her God the object of her warmest love, whose useful hours, successive as they glide, the book, the needle, and the pen divide."  2 For more on the Gail-Oxford Collection, a promised gift to the Hunting­ton, see David A. Schorsch, "Living with antiques: The Gail Oxford collection of American antiques in southern California," The Magazine Antiques, vol. 142, no. 3 (September 1992), pp. 352-359.  3 Betty Ring, Girlhood Embroidery: American Sam­plers and Pictorial Needlework, 1650-1850 (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1993), vol. 1, p. 131.  4 A close­ly related embroidery by Sukey Jarvis Smith is il­lustrated ibid., p. 136. The same teacher undoubt­edly provided both girls with their designs.  5 Charles Henry Pope and Thomas Hooper, Hooper Geneal­ogy (Charles H. Pope, Boston, 1908), p. 136. 6 Mrs. Charles P. Noyes, A Family History in Letters and Documents, 1667-1837 (privately printed, St. Paul, Minn., 1919).  7 Arthur Gilman, The Gilman Fam­ily... (Albany, N.Y., 1869), p. 91.  8 Ethel S. Bolton and Eva J. Coe, American Samplers (Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames of America, Boston, 1921), pp. 404, 406; and Ring, Girlhood Embroi­dery, vol. 1, p. 276.  9 Needlework scholar Jennifer Swope has suggested that the Ives family coat of arms represents an important transition from-or perhaps a style concurrent with-the more tradi­tional diamond or "hatchment" configuration for family crests to a vertical, rectangular format. In this respect, she noted in an e-mail message to me dated June 5, 2012, it is similar to several others most notably the Shaw family coat of arms in the New London County Historical Society.  10 While this sampler is stylistically related to the group, it lacks the "by the shady bower" verse typically seen in the work in this group. See Ring, Girlhood Embroidery, vol. 1, pp. 114-123.  11 E-mail to the author, May 16, 2012.  12 Henry W. Moulton, Moulton Annals (Edward A. Claypool, Chicago, 1906), p. 280.  13 Tricia Nguyen told me that this is the only known sampler from this region where the instructor's drawing is visible.  14 Phoebe Lane Moulton's composition is reproduced and discussed in Stephen and Carol Huber, Miller's Samplers: How to Compare and Value (Octopus Publishing Group, London, 2002), p. 33.  15 Harley N. Trice. "Western Pennsylvania Textiles," in Made in Pennsylvania: A Folk Art Tradition (Westmoreland Museum of Amer­ican Art, Greensburg, Penn., 2007), pp. 42-43.  16 E-mail to the author, September 18, 2012. The Campanellis' A Sampling of Hunterdon County Nee­dlework: The Motifs, the Makers, and Their Stories will be published by the Hunterdon County His­torical Society in June 2013.  17 Leslie and Peter Warwick have identified six other samplers in this group. While five are dated 1804, one-a sampler by Mary Antrim-features her name and the year 1807 on a semicircular paper framed above the sam­pler. The Warwicks note that Antrim's sampler was most likely also stitched in 1804 but placed in the frame in 1807. Leslie and Peter Warwick, "Society of Friends: A Pictorial Needlework School in Bur­lington County, New Jersey," Antiques and Fine Art, Spring 2012, pp. 174-179.







by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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