Eleanor Caroline Malone, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1837Provenance: Mary Jaene Edmonds

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Eleanor Caroline Malone,

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1837
Provenance: Mary Jaene Edmonds

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sampler size: 16¾” x 16” • frame: 19¾” x 19” • price: $9000

A splendid sampler, this was in the renowned collection of Mary Jaene Edmonds and published in her book, Samplers and Samplermakers: An American Schoolgirl Art 1700-1850 (Rizzoli, 1991), as figure 18. The sampler was also exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991. Here, in part, is Mrs. Edmonds’ description of the sampler:

This remarkable sampler, worked by Eleanor Caroline Malone at the age of eight, was probably stitched in the vicinity of Essex County, Massachusetts. Sometime later in life, Eleanor was prompted by vanity to remove the date on her sampler. A large number of sampler embroideries underwent similar alterations as their makers grew to adulthood.

Eleanor’s sampler has a finely stitched border of rosebuds and shaded leaves, with a woven basket of country flowers at the center top. A green field with a luxurious house and a large, strangely contoured tree dominates the foreground.

Recent genealogical research led us to the identity of the maker, Eleanor Caroline Malone who was born on February 27, 1828, the eldest daughter of John Michael Malone (born in Ireland in 1797) and his wife, Lydia (Bryant) Malone, who married in Boston in 1827. The family removed to Racine, Wisconsin in 1844 and Eleanor married Walter E. Dodge there in 1847. Genealogy of the Dodge Family of Essex County, Massachusetts, by Joseph Thompson Dodge (Madison, Wisconsin, 1898), tells us that Eleanor and Walter headed further west and later joined the Mormons, following Brigham Young; sometime in the 1860s the connection between the family and the Mormon Church was severed, but they remained in St. George, Utah. Their eight children were born between 1848 and 1872. Eleanor died there in 1894.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in very good condition with some securing to the background linen. It has been conservation mounted and is in a beveled cherry frame with a maple outer bead. 

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