Anathusia Nye, Roxbury, Cheshire County,

Anathusia Nye, Roxbury, Cheshire County,

New Hampshire, 1820

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sampler size: 13¼” x 16¼” • framed size: 15½” x 18½” • sold

Subtle but adeptly, fully stitched, our samplermaker inscribed her sampler: “Wrought in Roxbury June 1820 / by Anathusia Nye born May 7th / 1806 aged 14.” Anathusia/Arthusa/Arathusa Nye was indeed born in 1806, the 8th of 14 children born to Nathan Nye. Her mother was his second wife, Lydia (Benson) Nye. A Genealogy of the Nye Family (Published by The Nye Family of America Association, 1907) includes a detailed history of the family from its early origins in America, beginning with Benjamin Nye (1620-1714). He was born in Kent, England and sailed to Massachusetts on the ship “Abigail” in 1635. Five generations later Anathusia was born. Her father Nathan was born in Massachusetts and removed to New Hampshire circa 1793 where the family remained.

Anathusia never married, and later in life she lived in Winchester, Cheshire County, New Hampshire where she was employed as a housekeeper. She died in 1871.

Her beautifully worked sampler displays a classic composition and a delicate quality, specifically in the flowering border. She incorporated a variety of stitches – satin stitch, eyelet, queen’s stitch, chain stitch, etc. – and a lovely palette of soft blues, greens, pinks and ivories. An image of the back (below) reveals that the color was mildly stronger, but, interestingly, Miss Nye’s inscription never had much contrast and this may have been part of the lesson - how to stitch with colors that are close in value to one another.

Worked in silk on linen, this sampler remains in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a molded, painted frame.

(image of the reverse of the sampler)

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