Laura Stow Hale,

Laura Stow Hale,

Middletown, Connecticut, 1830

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sampler size: 16½" x 17¼" • framed size: 20¾" x 21½" • sold

An outstanding group of pictorial samplers was made in Middletown, Connecticut, south of Hartford, and we’re pleased to offer the finest one known - made by Laura Stow Hale in 1830. She featured a splendid townscape of prominent buildings in a fully-worked register complete with a sky, lush trees, lawns and a white fence. Another shared characteristic of the Middletown samplers is the excellent presentation of flowers and buds that fills the top portion of the sampler, in this case delightfully surrounded by the alphabet. The sampler is a winning combination of the overall composition, an excellent palette and skillful needlework.

The verse, a wonderful entreaty, is one that we haven’t seen previously. It was published as part of a song and poetry anthology in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1800. Laura stitched a wonderful rendition of the subject of this poem, “The Willow”, as part of her scene at lower right.

Laura Stow Hale was born circa 1818 to Joseph Hale (1780-1855) and Julia (Stow) Hale (1786-1843). Both the Hale and Stow families have long and prominent histories in this area of Connecticut, south of Hartford. The Hale family in America began with Samuel Hale (1615-1693) who emigrated from Cheshire, England in 1635 and settled in Hartford and the Stow family began with John Stow (1595-1643), born in Kent, England, emigrated in 1634 and settled initially in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Much information about the Stow family is included in Genealogical and Biographical Records of American Families Representative Citizens (Hartford, Connecticut, 1934). At age 19, Laura married Horace Alonzo Miller (1819-1878) and they had at least two children.

Worked in silk and wool and linen, the sampler is in excellent condition with a very few lost stiches. It has been conservation mounted and is in a cherry and maple frame.

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