Charity Jane Kyle,

Charity Jane Kyle,

LaGrange, Dutchess County, New York, 1838

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Sampler size: 16¾” x 17½” • Framed size: 19” x 19¾” • Price: $2800

This neatly organized and carefully stitched sampler includes, unusually, a depiction of a sailing ship and an ocean-themed verse which was written by James Montgomery, a Scottish poet and abolitionist and much published in the period. The narrow inner border was accomplished in the queen’s-stitch, which is found far more frequently on 18th century needlework but works quite nicely in this application. A pictorial register including trees with little birds on top, baskets of fruit and a soaring bird provides further embellishment and a wide border of stylized flowers on vine frames the composition well.

Charity Jane Kyle was born circa 1827 and worked her sampler in 1838, naming on it, LaGrange, a small town 6 miles from Poughkeepsie; she was likely attending school there. She was the daughter of John and Jane (Laughlin) Kyle, each of whom was born in Ireland. After they came to the United States and by 1830, they settled in Poughkeepsie, New York as indicated in census records, 1830 through 1860.

The 1865 Poughkeepsie city directory includes Miss Charity J. Kyle and her sister, Mary, living at 47 Noxon Street. In 1867, Charity married a chandler and soap-maker, John McElrath, and census and other records from 1870, 1875, 1892 and 1900 show that they remained in Poughkeepsie. Charity died in 1900 and John McElrath in 1905. They are buried in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery along with her parents.

Worked in silk on linen the sampler is in excellent condition. A photograph of the back was taken prior to mounting, which informs us as to condition as well as technique. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded and black painted frame.

 

Verso of sampler

 

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