Collecting American samplers in Southern California


By Sarah Maria Hunt (b. 1830)

Hunterdon County, New Jersey, 1844. Wool on linen, 16 ½ by 24 inches. Huntington Library, Art Col­­lections, and Botanical Gar­dens, Gail-Oxford promised gift.

Sarah Maria Hunt was, as her sampler describes, the daughter of Samuel R. (b. 1795) and Huldah P. Hunt (b. 1794). She later married Joshua Carter (b. 1820) and they subse­quently moved to the Midwest. According to the 1850 United States Census, Sarah, then twenty years old, her husband, and her mother were all living on a farm in Keeler, Michigan, in Van Buren County in the western part of the state. According to needlework researchers Dan and Marty Campanelli, the trio-of-strawberries border, the unconven­tional lions (which they have dubbed "the funky lion" motif), the pine trees, the checkered pots with flowers, the willows, and the fruit trees all link this sampler to Hunterdon County needlework traditions of the first half of the nineteenth century.16

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

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