Catherine Light Cornman,

Catherine Light Cornman,

Philadelphia or Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, 1830

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sampler size: 16½” x 18” • framed size: 19½” x 21” • sold

A very stylish sampler, this is signed, “Catherine Light Cornman Worked This Sampler in the 14th year of her Age February 4th 1830” with various moral verse both before and after this inscription. Numerous tall urns of flowers, baskets of fruit, pairs of birds (some flying, some perched) and butterflies decorate the sampler beautifully. But it is the excellent pictorial scene along the bottom of the sampler that draws one’s attention. The gentleman shepherd in a black hat, tall lady with a parasol and her threesome of little black dogs and two smaller white dogs flank a wonderful checkerboard well with a large urn of flowers in the center of the scene. The castle-like tower at the right is one found on both European and American samplers and the crenelated pine tree resembles those found on Philadelphia samplers from the mid-18th century on.

Catherine’s parents were William and Margaret (Messenkop) Cornman; William’s father, John Eberhard Cornman (1725-1794) emigrated from Germany and married Elizabeth Goose in 1760 in Philadelphia, indicated by church records. The family remained in Philadelphia for some time and Catherine’s birth, on July 3, 1816 was recorded in Philadelphia. Her marriage to bookbinder, John Lewis Getz of York was published in the Lancaster Herald and Examiner on Thursday, May 1, 1834 and it was stated that she was from Lancaster. They had five children and Catherine died in January of 1857; she is buried in York.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a beveled cherry frame with a black bead.

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