Ann Hofman, Philadelphia Presentation Sampler

Ann Hofman, Philadelphia Presentation Sampler

Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1826

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sampler size: 16½” x 20" • framed size: 19½” x 23" • sold

An important group - the Philadelphia Presentation Samplers - was worked in Philadelphia between at 1816 and 1839 and these pieces remain amongst the most sought after by needlework collectors. Technically, the work accomplished by these schoolgirls is outstanding and their samplers present enormous aesthetic appeal. This sampler, made by Ann Hofman of Kensington in 1826, is an excellent example.  Ann inscribed her work using the same basic phrasing found on the majority of other samplers of this group and from which it takes its name: "Respectfully presented to Jacob and Susan Hofman by their affectionate daughter Ann Hofman done in the 10th year of her age". Just below the verse, Ann named Kensington, the Philadelphia neighborhood where a large number of the Presentation Samplers were made and dated her work April 13th 1826.

Other Philadelphia Presentation Samplers are in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum; for more information on this group please refer to Betty Ring, Girlhood Embroidery Vol II, pages 374-377.

Ann’s needlework conforms to the excellent standards set by this obviously talented instructress. Her low basket is filled with Queen’s-stitched strawberries, grapes and cherries, all beautifully realized, and the flowers, borders and verse were rendered with equal care. Additionally, the composition of the sampler is well-balanced, allowing all its elements sufficient space.

The fact that these samplermakers name their parents within their needlework is an advantage in specifically identifying them. Ann was baptized at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington on October 30, 1817, having been born circa 1815. On June 18, 1837, at the same church, she married George Mood (1813-1898), a fisherman and they remained in Kensington where they had at least seven children. Ann died in 1866 and is buried in Kensington Burial Ground along with family members.

The sampler is worked on silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and in later 19th century gold leaf frame.


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