Mary E. Snelbaker,

Mary E. Snelbaker,

Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, 1839

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sampler size: 16” x 14¾” • framed size: 20½” x 19¼” • sold

Ohio samplers are much more scarce than those made along the east coast and we are pleased to be able to offer this fine example. It features alphabets and many excellent and classic motifs and is signed, “Mary E. Snelbaker’s work performed in the 13th year of her age 1839.” Mary lived in Cincinnati, Ohio where her father, David T. Snelbaker (1804-1867) served as Mayor of Cincinnati in the 1850s, after establishing a successful coopering business in that town. 

Mary was born in 1826 in Philadelphia to David and Elizabeth (Darcy) Snelbaker, who removed to southwestern Ohio in 1833. Her sampler shows the influence of the Quaker designs that proliferated in the early 19th century. Notable also is the fact that Mary was taught some sophisticated and time-consuming stitches – the four strawberries are worked in the queen’s- stitch and the many small flowers in the border were all accomplished in the eyelet stitch. The sampler remained in the family until just recently and is accompanied by that lineage as well as a lovely pastel portrait of Mary as an adult (see below). 

In 1853, Mary married William Edwin Hayes (1828-1893). The 1870 census shows that the family lived in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, where William was a railroad engineer. They had several children and Mary died in 1873. 

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a beveled cherry frame with a black bead.

Photo of pastel of the samplermaker, circa 1870

Photo of reverse



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