Fanny R. Maynard,

Fanny R. Maynard,

Walpole, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, 1823

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Sampler size: 13½” x 12¾” • Framed size: 17¾” x 17” • sold

Signed, “Fanny R. Maynard Born in Walpole April 2 1813 Aged 10 Years Wrought in 1823,” this sampler exhibits a delightful aesthetic due to its handsome composition and color palette along with a fine level of expertise in the needle arts. Fanny followed her inscription with a highly pleasing aphorism, “Cheerfulness Bespeaks a Contented Mind,” and four lines of a verse that advises living a chaste and pure life. Interestingly, Fanny stitched “Faith Hope Love and Charity”,” the long-stated moral virtues of the Masons. The verse and Masonic tenants are worked within organic garlands of flowers that incorporates a lovely bouquet of flowers tied with a bowknot. The skill that young Fanny showed while working her sampler is unusual; a varied vocabulary of stiches, including the button-hole stitch, was executed with great skill.

Walpole, New Hampshire sits on the Connecticut River, the state’s border with Vermont, and due west of Manchester. It was home to John Maynard (1785-1868), who settled in Walpole as a young man, and his wife Lydia Graves (1787-1863) who were married in 1811 and raised a family of ten children. As she stitched on her sampler, Fanny was born on April 2, 1813.

John Maynard learned the trade of saddle-making and went on to own a line of stagecoaches that ran 20 miles northwest, to Chester, Vermont, according to History of Walpole, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, J. L. Lewis & Co (Philadelphia, 1886). In 1832 Fanny married William C. Sherman III (1807-1884), whose family was one of the earliest of those settling in Walpole. She died just two years later, on February 8, 1834 and three years after that William married her younger sister, Lorinda.

The history of the Masonic lodges of New Hampshire goes back to July of 1789 when five Freemasons met in Portsmouth and agreed to create a Grand Lodge for the state. While specific records regarding members of lodges are scarce, we can be sure that Fanny’s father, John Maynard was a Mason.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a mahogany frame with a maple step-bead.


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