American Schoolgirl Early Sampler Signed Jane Kearne
I think we can all agree that samplers are so much fun to collect as each one seems to have inherent qualities all their own lending unique variations of whimsical surprises that excite and entice us! This sampler was worked on linen and even though there is no date, it appears to have been created in the first half of the 19th century possibly closer to the 1820 period.
This textile most likely came from the mid-Atlantic region but we can’t rule out the possibility that it could also have roots stemming as far west as Ohio. The design elements incorporated into this work though simple still seem to draw us in for a closer look. A lone bird takes refuge near the bottom left corner while the fruit basket takes center stage and may give us a clue into its “Quaker” roots. However this basket motif may also indicate it was worked by other Christian schoolgirl’s as well. Two octagonal stars flank the basket located in an opposing, seemingly floating positions near the top while a double series of flowers gently enhance the right hand side.
This textile has an overall medium dark, age related appearance and some areas are even darker yet as shown. There is also minor fabric loss located near the birds feet and just above, off to the left as shown in image 6. A couple of loose threads can be found on the lower case letters at the half way point as shown in image 11 but no other areas are affected.
This piece does have a series of worked stitches that include the eyelet, rice and of course the classic cross stitch. A couple rows of letters both upper and lower case along with a well defined lined border portray a soft cornflower blue color while the other letters and numbers seem to gently fade into the tan ground. The little bird is dressed in grass green thread while the fruit basket is outlined with the same cornflower blue hue as well as the outer borders that encompass this piece.
A lemon gold frame was chosen and is enhanced with whispers of black specks as referenced in image 14 and probably has a later date than the sampler. This textile is protected under glass. The upper left hand corner seems to be more effected by wear than the others as shown in images 17 & 20. A dark hunter green color dominates the back of the frame which was fashioned by using nails in two adjacent corners.
This quaint sampler not only has an early date but is a survivor! I am sure Jane would be so proud to see her work hanging in someone’s home where it can be appreciated and cherished for years to come! Enjoy!
Sampler measures 11 ½” across (right to left), 9 ¼” top to bottom and is ¾” thick.
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