Hillsborough, New Hampshire, 1833
Twelve-year-old Lovilla Emery, living in Hillsborough, a town in southern New Hampshire, created this large and very handsome sampler. The center features alphabets and a fine verse, one that is published in American Samplers by Bolton and Coe (Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1921) in the section that documents poems used by samplermakers. That verse is surrounded with a splendid enclosure of leaves on a vine formed of linked ovals, an unusual and graphic treatment. Lovilla framed her needlework with an outstanding border – a series of highly developed flowers on stems and berries on branches in a balanced composition. But most notable is the wonderful pair of lustrous, feathery eagles that are perched on branches of an oak tree, complete with acorns, at the very top. This patriotic pictorial vignette crowns the sampler well.
The History of Hillsborough New Hampshire 1735-1921 (Manchester, NH, 1922) includes much information about Lovilla’s family. This branch of the Emery family began with John Emery (1598-1683) who was born in England and sailed from Southampton, landing in Boston on June 3, 1635. Seven generations later, Lovilla was born on December 16, 1820 to Levi and Sarah (Hildreth) Emery, who were married in 1815. Her husband, Jason Hartwell Theodore Newell, also of Hillsborough, was a merchant and they had five children born between 1841 and 1857. Lovilla died on April 9, 1876. The sampler descended to a daughter, Eva, and then to further generations until at least 1948, and is accompanied by the complete, handwritten family history of this ownership (image of back paper below).
Worked in silk on linen gauze, the sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a maple frame.