Lydia Stone, Lincoln,

Lydia Stone, Lincoln,

Penobscot County, Maine, 1807

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sampler size: 16¾” x 12½” • framed size: 20½” x 16½” • sold

Worked by twelve-year-old Lydia Stone of Lincoln, Maine, this sampler offers excellence on many levels. The composition and execution are praiseworthy, and the verse is delightful. Lydia featured a basket with flowers on leafy stems springing from it as it sits on an unusual sawtooth lawn. Her borders are embellished with many strawberries, some of them varying in color. Bright clear colors – notably red, yellow and teal blue - play well against a light linen background. 

Lydia stitched a particularly appealing verse that advises that we make the most of our youthful years, improve our fleeting hours and make virtue our noblest fruit. This was published as the last four lines of “An Ode On Spring,” in a book entitled The Boarding School; or, Lessons of a Preceptress to her Pupils Consisting of Information, Instruction and Advice, Calculated to Improve the Manners and Form the Character of Young Ladies by a Lady of Massachusetts, Mrs. Foster of Brighton, published in Boston in 1829, as well as, no doubt, some years prior.

This branch of the Stone family in America began in 1635 when Lydia’s ancestor emigrated to New England. Lydia was born on April 13, 1795, the 4th of 7 children of Gregory Stone III (1754-1807) and his wife Lucy (Jones) Stone (1764-1851) of Lincoln, a town north of Bangor. In Gregory Stone Genealogy: Ancestry and Descendants of Dea Gregory Stone of Cambridge, Massachusetts (Boston, 1918), Lydia’s father, the great-great-great-grandson of the emigrant ancestor, is described as, “a sturdy and spirited yeoman of independent and unneutral thought, firm convictions, and sterling qualities of mind, characteristics transmitted to all of his descendants.” He served as a minuteman in the Revolutionary War and was at the alarm of April 19, 1775 at Lexington and Concord. By 1790 he and his wife were living in Lincoln, Maine, where he had been born and raised. Lydia remained single and, according to the same family history, went to live in Augusta, Maine with her uncle, Deacon Daniel Stone, after the death of his wife. Lydia died on September 26, 1867 and is buried in Forest Grove Cemetery in Augusta.

The condition of the sampler is pristine, and it may have remained unframed and stored away from light for many years. It was framed, perhaps for the first time, in the early 20th century in Augusta, Maine. A photo of the reverse of the sampler taken prior to mounting is instructive, see below. The sampler was worked in silk on linen and it has been conservation mounted into a cherry frame with a maple bead.

image of the reverse of the sampler

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