Alice Ann Groff,

Alice Ann Groff,

Instructress Lydia Steel, 
Strasburg, Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania, 1846

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sampler size: 16” x 15¼” • framed size: 20” x 19¼” • sold

Schoolgirls working in southeastern Pennsylvania in the 1840s produced some outstanding samplers that feature excellent pictorial imagery worked in strong, saturated colors with merino wool. Allice Ann Groff’s large red house with a blue roof and vigorous vines growing up the sides anchors her composition well; it is further embellished with fat birds and potted flowering plants. A garland of large blossom flowers contains her classic verse and inscription and a wonderful border of various flowers and leaves on a straight-edged vine provides a graphic framework. Alice credits her instructress, Lydia Steele, as part of her inscription on the sampler.

Born on July 13, 1832, Alice was the daughter of Mennonites, Martin (1803-1887) and Mary (Eshleman, 1807-1895) Groff who married in 1831. Martin was a successful farmer and the family lived in Strasburg, southeast of Lancaster. Alice was the eldest in her family of six children. She remained single and died January 7, 1899 and is buried in the Strasburg Cemetery along with family members. One of the Alice’s emigrant ancestor, six generations back, was Reverend Hans Herr (1639-1725) who was born in Switzerland and arrived in Pennsylvania in1709.

The sampler was worked in silk – for the lettering – and merino wool on linen and it is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a beveled maple frame.  

 

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