Collecting American samplers in Southern California

Family tree

By Elizabeth Stone (b. 1808)

Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 1820. Silk on linen, 16 by 15 ¾ inches. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Gail-Oxford promised gift.

This "tree of life" sampler, with its three-sided flower-and-leaf border and its use of yellow or gold fruit for the female siblings and white or silver fruit for the males, is typical of needlework produced in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The intertwined or overlapping hearts motif at the base of the tree is also typical of the region. Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Stone recorded on the sampler that she was the eldest child of William (1781-1856) and Elizabeth Coolidge (1784-1874), who were married in Watertown, Mas­sachusetts on April 9, 1807. Eight years after complet­ing this family record, Elizabeth married Seriah Stevens (1793-1855). They settled in Boston and raised their three children there. 

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

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