Ann Margarett Miller,

Ann Margarett Miller,

Philadelphia area, Pennsylvania, 1830

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sampler size: 17” x 18½” • framed size: 21” x 22½” • price: $11,000

Pennsylvania samplermakers worked outstanding house and lawn samplers for many decades beginning in the late 18th century. Scholars and curators have studied and published many of these samplers and, due to the large and well-educated population in southeastern Pennsylvania at the time, excellent examples continue to surface occasionally.

Working firmly within this tradition, Ann Margarett Miller stitched this praiseworthy pictorial sampler in 1830. Her sampler offers strong composition and color along with the folky nature that many collectors find particularly appealing. This sampler should be compared to one published in Historical Needlework of Pennsylvania by Margaret Schiffer (1968) on page 38, a 1798 sampler by Elizabeth Helms. While over 30 years apart in age, these two samplers are remarkably similar. Both feature a house in three-quarter view set off-center on a sloping lawn with the same little flock of birds soaring above. While each sampler embodies characteristics of its own period, the close relationship between the two speaks to the strength of this continuing tradition.

Ann Margarett Miller featured a lawn of long teal blue and green stitches with three sheep guarded by a dog. Another little dog, more of a pet perhaps, stands at the house. Birds, baskets of fruit and vases of flowers provide further embellishment.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition with some very slight loss. It has been conservation mounted into a molded and black painted frame.

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