Ann Fry,

Ann Fry,

Germantown, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, circa 1820

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sampler size: 18¼” x 16¾” • framed size: 21” x 19½” • price: $5800

Signed, “Ann Fry’s Work Germantown” this beautifully worked sampler exhibits the fine patterns and techniques employed by teachers and samplermakers in Philadelphia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These characteristics include the two horizontal bands and the lower register of flowers, trees, birds and baskets. The border of strawberries and flowers on vine on this sampler is quite extraordinary as it was formed entirely in the time-consuming and difficult queen’s stitch. The vine was worked with such precision that it navigates each corner in the same way, not an easy feat.

Ann’s grandfather, Johannes Fry (1732-1814) was born in Germany and came to Pennsylvania as a child with his parents. They lived in Germantown, an area of Philadelphia populated with many prosperous German immigrants. Ann was the daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Burkhart) Fry who lived in Germantown were Jacob was recorded in 1809 as a farmer and storekeeper, functioning primarily as a wholesaler for Pennsylvania farmers trading their produce for groceries. The Fry family bible with notations regarding births and deaths is held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; it tells us that “Ann Fry was born November 5th 1805 at 10 O’Clock in the Morning.” In 1828, Ann married Samuel Rex Bockius (1804-1868) and they remained in Germantown where they had at least six children. Ann died in 1870.

The sampler was worked in silk on tan linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded cherry frame with a gold leaf liner.

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