Ann Cosson, Philadlephia, Pennsylvania, 1821

Ann Cosson, Philadlephia, Pennsylvania, 1821

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sampler size: 20½” square • frame size: 24” square • price: $3600

Quaker instructresses in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey taught girls to make a highly recognizable form of sampler, with many specifically designed needlework motifs set in an overall floating and symmetrical format. We find that the majority of these samplers were made between 1810 and 1830. Ann Cosson’s large and handsome sampler is an excellent example of this genre and presents a wonderful assortment of these Quaker motifs.  While we don’t know what school she attended; we appreciate the classic Quaker characteristics of her beautifully made sampler.

Flower branches, lily-of-the-valley plants, hanging bunches of grapes, buds on sprigs, butterflies, blue birds, little lions and other elements face each other on either side of a centered potted flowering plant, fruit baskets and a letter-perfect four line version of the Golden Rule. Ann included three sets of initials on her sampler, MC centered at the top and IC, twice, in the lower corners.  While we don’t know specifics about her, the prominent placement of MC points to the household of Mary Cosson, recorded by the 1810 and 1820 census living in the Southwark section of Philadelphia.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into its original cherry frame with an outer beaded edge. 

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