Eliza H. Booth,

Eliza H. Booth,

Battle Creek, Calhoun County,
Michigan, 1850

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sampler size: 9” x 18½” • framed size: 12¾” x 22¼” • price: $4400

Few samplers were made in the regions west of Ohio because, understandably, a critical mass of population did not exist at the time samplers were still an important part of the American schoolgirl tradition. We seek out and enjoy finding these rare examples, such as this handsome piece made by Eliza H. Booth. Records indicate that Eliza was born in New York in 1840, and as evident by her handiwork she had moved to Michigan by the age of 10. An 1860 census record notes that she was living in Battle Creek, Calhoun County in particular, due east of Kalamazoo, and southwest of Lansing.

Miss Booth’s sampler is straightforward and quite charming. Likely a preliminary piece, Eliza cross-stitched long rows of three alphabets and a numerical progression. Her inscription, worked in the same red linen thread as her other lettering, sits centered in the bottom register, and is flanked by a pair of plants with pendulous flowers in handled pots. An unusual linear border of alternating cross-stitched simple patterns surrounds the composition on all four sides.

Worked in linen and wool on coarse linen, Eliza’s sampler remains in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a period frame.

 

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