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Elizabeth Ann Morgan,

Canterbury Bird & Basket Group,
Gilmanton, New Hampshire, 1826

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sampler size: 10½” x 21½” • framed size: 14¼” x 25¼” • sold

Elizabeth Ann Morgan was born on January 13, 1813, as she stitched on her sampler. She was the daughter of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Smith) Morgan, and The History of Gilmanton by David Lancaster (Gilmanton, 1845) includes information about this family, residents of that town since the early 18th century.

Gilmanton is northwest of Canterbury and the sampler belongs to an important group, called the “Bird & Basket Samplers of Canterbury, New Hampshire.” These highly sought-after samplers share salient characteristics such as the hillocks along the bottom with their freeform flowers, perched birds and central basket of flower blossoms. Elizabeth’s sampler is somewhat less highly developed than others of this group, though it indeed includes the quintessential imagery. Her handsome and unusually horizontal format resembles another known example, made by Apphia Amanda Young, published in Lessons Stitched in Silk: Samplers from the Canterbury Region of New Hampshire by Elisabeth Donaghy Garrett, which is the catalogue that accompanied the ground-breaking 1990 exhibition at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum in Hanover, New Hampshire. While the two samplers share the same format and general composition, Elizabeth’s sampler includes the wonderful birds from the group’s given name.

At some point after the sampler was made, the Morgan family removed to Portland, Maine and those town records indicate that Elizabeth married Samuel Brown Appleton (1812-1888) in 1838. They had seven children who were born in Buxton, Maine, just west of Portland and they later relocated out west; by 1870 they were living in Chicago. Elizabeth Ann died in 1899 and is buried in Osceola, Michigan.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in an oak frame with a gold liner. 

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