Nancy Stearns Sampler

Nancy Stearns Sampler

Preliminary genealogical research shows that Nancy was born in Leominster, Worcester, Massachussetts in 1797.  She turned out this beautiful sampler in 1810 when she was 13. 

This sampler bears many characteristics described by Betty Ring in Girlhood Embroidery, Volume I, p. 36.  Ms. Ring states "Boston's first important group of samplers emerged in the 1720's.  Unlike stylized band patterns... that characterized Newport and Philadelphia samplers of this time, Boston work retained the form and technique of the 17th century."  What she is referring to here are the so-called "Adam and Eve" and other biblical themed pieces, of which this is one.  

Within an oval bordered cartouche is this devotional verse:

"With glittering beams and native glory bright
Virtue no darkness dreads nor coverts light
But from her settled orb, looks gently down
On life or death a prison or a crown.

"Virtue the chiefest beauty of the mind,
The noblest ornament of human kind,
Virtue our safeguard and our guiding star,
Which stirs up reason whom our senses err."

The entire surrounded by an exuberant floral border.

Stitches include cross, satin, split, French knot, straight and encroaching satin.  The sampler, worked in silk on linen, is in excellent condition and conservation mounted, and is behind Tru-Vue glass. The colors and contrast in the alphabets, devotion verse, bands and floral border are very good and the entire presentation is visually appealing and accomplished with great needlework skill. 16" X 18" overall size.

Please click on photo to enlarge and appreciate the details.