Mary Ester Smith, Palmyra,

Mary Ester Smith, Palmyra,

Wayne Co., New York, 1836

Mouse over image to enlarge

sampler size: 17¼” square • framed size: 20¼” square • price: $5400

Mary Ester Smith was just eight years old and living in Palmyra, New York when she worked this highly appealing sampler, featuring a straightforward and nicely outlined portrayal of a fine double chimney house with mullioned windows flanked by potted, stylized plants and a pair of birds. A border composed of three distinct and stylized flower blossoms forms an outstanding framework for the work. The composition and execution are unusually fresh, due in part no doubt to the youth of the maker.

The sampler has long been accompanied by a detailed family note (see below) and genealogical research has added to this information. Born April 13, 1828, Mary was the daughter of Jacob Uriah and Elizabeth (Bartram) Smith of Palmyra, a small town southwest of Rochester, New York. Their branch of the Smith family descended from William Smith (born 1592) who was born in England and came to America as part of the Great Migration. The Smith family settled first in New York, Queens County and then Hempstead County.

In 1844, at the young age of 16, Mary Ester Smith married Nathan Curtis and the 1850 census shows them living further north, in Ithaca. Nathan was an upholsterer and mattress manufacturer and they had at least 3 children. In 1863 Nathan volunteered to fight in the Civil War. According to the family note, Mary married a second time, to Egbert Burch, in 1866. 

Worked in silk on linen, this sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a beveled cherry frame with a black outer bead.

 (family note)

contact us

You may contact us by phone (215.627.7797) or email (mailbox@finkelantiques.com) or complete our quick form and we will respond promptly.
If by some chance you do not hear back from us within 24 hours after submitting your message, please get in touch
as it means we didn't receive your inquiry. Thank you.

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.