Hope Twombly, Dover,

Hope Twombly, Dover,

New Hampshire, 1828

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sampler size: 17¼” x 15¼” • frame size: 20” x 18” • sold

With a fine pictorial scene along the bottom and alphabets above, this sampler is signed, “Wraught by Hope Twombly aged IX.” Use of Roman numerals within an inscription is unusual and reminds us that the schoolgirls were learning other lessons, as well.

Hope lived in the coastal town of Dover, just northwest of Portsmouth and we see the influence of the architecture of this town in the depiction of a Federal house with a widow’s walk railing between the chimneys. The house is set on a wonderful sawtooth-patterned lawn and is situated between a basket of flowers and a large leafy tree. The other building may be a large barn or a dependency, as it is without chimneys. Notably, the hearts and flower buds that embellish the side borders and horizontal band are found on other samplers from southern New Hampshire.

Born in Dover on April 20, 1819, Hope was the daughter of Isaac and Susan (Tuttle) Twombly. She was nine years old when she made this sampler and at age twenty she married Thomas Tuttle, also of Dover. They had ten children born between 1839 and 1863. It’s possible that this family descended from the same ancestor as the famous 20th century artist, Cy Twombly (1928-2011), as his ancestors were also from New Hampshire. Hope died on February 1, 1897 and is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover.

Worked in a delicate palette of silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a molded and black painted frame. 

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