02-15-2009 02-15-2009
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
2444 Boston
February 15, 2009 11:00 AMCalender

Baltimore Needlework Sampler

Auction: American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2444 Location: Boston Date / Time: February 15, 2009 11:00AM


Baltimore Needlework Sampler, "Eliza Ann Sute[r] Balti[mo]re, May th 16 1826," worked in silk and chenille threads on a linen ground, depicting a scene centered with a large masonry building with blue shuttered windows stitched on the gabled side of the house, and tan shutters on the facade, flanked by a palm tree and a weeping willow, a shepherd and sheep, a lady seated on a chair with a parrot perched on her arm, ducks, cows, flowers, and shrubs, with a fence in the foreground, enclosed in a multicolored flowering vine with a blue bowknot at the center of the lower border, (imperfections), sight size 31 x 36 in., in likely original molded giltwood frame.

Literature: This sampler is illustrated in Maryland Sampling: Girlhood Embroidery, 1738-1860, by Gloria Seaman Allen, Maryland Historical Society, 2007, p. 213. It is also similar in design elements to examples from the Baltimore area portrayed in Betty Ring's book Girlhood Embroidery: American Samplers, Pictorial Needlework 1650-1850, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993, pp. 508-511. On p. 510, Mary Davis's sampler, which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, shows an almost identical building with the same blue shuttered windows on the gabled side of the building and blue bowknot centered on the lower border, and similar palm tree and floral border. Elizabeth Ireland's sampler, on p. 508, also displays the same bowknot design and is stitched "Elizabeth Irelands performance at Mrs. Lyman's/Baltimore May 22d 1819 AD." These related Baltimore samplers are attributed to work done by students of schoolmistress Eleanor Lyman, who according to Ring, was Eleanor Ricks, the daughter of Robert and Mark Ricks, born sometime before 1780. She married Joseph Lyman on September 3, 1799, and was widowed sixteen days later. Other dated samplers give evidence that Eleanor Lyman continued to teach into the 1830s.
Estimate $15,000-25,000

Toning, fading, numerous scattered losses to background fabric, no aparent repairs, conservation framing, glass not original.


Eleanor Lyman, Betty Ring, Eliza Ann Sute, Freemasonry, chair , Maryland Historical Society, Gloria Seaman Allen, Alfred A. Knopf Inc., Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mary Davis, Eleanor Ricks, Robert Ricks, Mark Ricks, Joseph Lyman