Maria Anderson, Provenance: Theodore Kapnek Collection

Maria Anderson, Provenance: Theodore Kapnek Collection

Mrs. Mulhall teacher, England, 1817

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sampler size: 23¾" x 21¼" • framed size: 27" x 24½" • sold

A large and highly appealing sampler filled with many wonderful depictions, motifs and classic needlework designs, this is signed, “Maria Anderson Samplar Workd In The 12 Year Of her Age 1817 Mrs. Mulhall.” It was included in one of the most important American sampler collections for many years – that of Theodore H. Kapnek. Maria’s sampler is published as a sampler from New England, figure 71 in Glee Krueger’s A Gallery of American Samplers: The Theodore H. Kapnek Collection (E.P. Dutton and the Museum of American Folk Art, New York, 1977) and was exhibited at the Folk Art Museum at that time.  Interestingly, more recent scholarship and interpretation of this, along with some other samplers in the Kapnek collection, lead to the conclusion that the sampler is English in origin. And of course, English samplers and American samplers share many characteristics.

While the sampler presents a great many assorted pictorial elements, it is the scene along the bottom that commands attention. A large house sits on a hill, and a small dependency house sits on its own little hill to the right. A tall lady picking fruit from a tree with her little dog nearby head towards the outstanding and unusual image of a horse drawn carriage with two coachmen. Mrs. Mulhall was the teacher and we hope that further research will provide details about her.

Two moralistic verses were carefully worked at the top with angels anchoring the upper corners. A copy of A Gallery of American Samplers: The Theodore H. Kapnek Collection will accompany the sampler.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a fine birds-eye maple frame with a gilt liner.

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