Mary Stocker, Mary Walden’s School,

Mary Stocker, Mary Walden’s School,

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1818

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sampler size: 15¾” x 17¼” • framed size: 19½” x 21¾” • sold

We are delighted to have just recently acquired this outstanding sampler made by Mary Stocker at Mary Walden's School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Samplers made at this school are highly regarded and some were worked on green linsey-woolsey. The most significant feature of samplers worked at Mary Walden’s school is this fully developed scene including houses, trees, fence, and a bird house. Most interestingly, the Stocker sampler is dated October 29, 1818 and a virtually identical sampler made by Caroline Vaughan just one day earlier, October 28, 1818, is at the Baltimore Art Museum. These samplermakers must have sat side-by-side as they worked their samplers.

In Female Worth and Elegance: Samplers and Needlework Students and Teachers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire 1741-1840by John F. LaBranche and Rita F. Conant (The Portsmouth Marine Society, 1996) publishes the Baltimore Museum’s sampler as well as further information about the Mary Walden School. The school was in her father’s house on Penhallow Street and her sister, Elvira Walden, helped her in its operation. An advertisement in1818 in the Portsmouth Oracle announced the “Spring Quarter of her Drawing School the first Monday in May.”

Mary Stocker was the eldest child of Capt. William and Mary (Pitman) Stocker of Portsmouth, born circa 1807. William Stocker (1778-1839) was a noted sea captain. Her niece and namesake, Mary Stocker (1848-1918) inherited the sampler and it descended in the family up until just now.

The sampler was worked in silk on linsey-woolsey and is in very good condition with some very minor weakness to the fabric. It has been conservation mounted and is in a tiger maple frame.

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