Jain Enos, New Castle,

Jain Enos, New Castle,

Delaware, 1793

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sampler size: 22½” x 13” • framed size: 25” x 15½” • sold

Signed, “Jain Enos her Work in the 16 Year of Her age may 15 in 1793," this excellent sampler is a large and rare 18th century Delaware example. Jain Enos was born in New Castle circa 1778, the oldest child of John and Rebecca (Moore) Enos who were married there in 1775. Delaware Families 1787-1800 (The Delaware Genealogical Society) published information about the family, including the fact that in 1779, John, a farmer, loaned 30 bushels of corn for the American troops to use as horse fodder. He was appointed treasurer of New Castle in 1804 and purchased farmland in Pencader Hundred, a long, narrow strip of land on the Maryland line, in 1809. His farm was near Cooch’s Bridge, west of New Castle and south of Newark. John’s parents were Joseph and Jane (Storie) Enos and our samplermaker was named for her grandmother – as we can tell from the sampler, the family used various spellings for the name. Jain married John Barr and they had six children; she died, prior to 1815. Further information about the family is published in A Calendar of Delaware Wills New Castle County 1682-1800.

The sampler was worked in the vertical, band format characteristic of the 18th century and is surrounded on four sides by a fine, deeply arcaded border. Jain stitched four lines of a religious verse that was published in the 18th century in the uppermost register: “Come Lord and never from me go / This worlds a darksome place / I find no pleasure here below / When thou dost veil thy face.” And just before her inscription she stitched, “Virtue be thou my Guide.”

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded and black painted frame. A photo taken of the reverse (below) prior to mounting is instructive as to the needlework and the condition.

(image of the reverse of the sampler)

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