18th Century Needlework Sampler, "Sarah Sawyer is my name and with my needle wrought the same. I was born March the 25th in the year 1740. This sampler I did in the year 1757.," Newbury, Massachusetts, worked in silk threads on a linen ground, with rows of alphabet and numerals alternating with geometric floral bands over the inscription, enclosed on three sides by sawtooth and undulating floral borders, over a satin-stitched landscape centering a fruit tree with rabbits, birds, dogs, flowering bushes, and strawberry vines, (toning, fading), 22 1/4 x 12 1/2 in., in a molded wood frame.
Provenance: This sampler previously sold at Skinner, June 10, 1989, Americana auction 1265, lot 161.
Literature: According to New England families, genealogical, and memorial, by William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York, 1913, pp. 128-129, Sarah Sawyer was born March 25, 1740 in Newbury, Massachusetts, the daughter of Enoch, a physician, and Sarah (Pierpoint) Sawyer. She was the second wife of Thomas Parsons (b. April, 28, 1739), the son of a famous preacher of his day. They married on July 18, 1762, and resided in Newburyport. Thomas Parsons was a mariner and although was reported missing, was thought to have been murdered aboard ship in February of 1772.
This sampler is one of an important group worked in Newbury and Newburyport, Massachusetts, between 1700-60. See Girlhood Embroidery: American Samplers, Pictorial Needlework 1650-1850, by Betty Ring, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993, vol. 1, p. 115; A Gallery of American Samplers: The Theodore H. Kapnek Collection, by Glee Krueger, 1798, plate 19; and American Samplers, Ethel Stanwood Bolton and Eva Johnston Coe, 1973, plate XXIV, for related examples.