Elizabeth Kline, Philadelphia Presentation Sampler,

Elizabeth Kline, Philadelphia Presentation Sampler,

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1821

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sampler size: 12¼" x 16¾" • framed size: 17¼" x 21¾" • price: $6800

An important group - the Philadelphia Presentation Samplers - was worked in Philadelphia in the first three decades of the 19th century and these pieces are sought after by needlework collectors. Technically, the work accomplished by these schoolgirls is outstanding and their samplers present enormous aesthetic appeal; Elizabeth Kline’s sampler is an excellent example. The inscription of these samplers is almost always enclosed in a plinth outlined in black with blue shading and the best of these samplers features a fine low basket filled with fruit worked in various stiches exhibiting great technical competence.

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.

Elizabeth’s needlework conforms to the excellent standards set by an 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. Another characteristic of this group is a very effective blue and yellow sawtooth inner border, which appears to have been carefully worked on this sampler. The verse is a hymn written by Isaac Watts in 1717 and it is contained within a wonderful octagonal Queen’s-stitched framework, as is found on other Philadelphia Presentation Samplers.

The sampler is worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition with some minor darkening to the linen near the inscription. There is very slight loss to the stiches of the date. It has been conservation mounted and in a 19th century gold leaf frame.

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