Mary Walter, Pennsylvania, 1807

Mary Walter, Pennsylvania, 1807

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sampler size: 16½” x 10½” • frame size: 18¾” x 12¾” • price: $3300

This handsome and beautifully made sampler is inscribed “Mary Walter.s Work Made in the 11th year of her age. 1807.” Along with her inscription Mary notes some initials: WH HH AH SW. The format is that of an 18th century band sampler – a vertical composition with bands of alphabets, pictorial registers and narrow geometric designs. The dominant, center register is a richly colored basket with a pyramid of fruit on a pedestal flanked by large-eyed parrots, berry sprigs and stems of leafy rosebuds. Mary framed her work with a double-lined border with buds on the side borders and stylized flowers top and bottom. In the overall, the sampler boasts tight and fine needlework in a very appealing composition with excellent color. That Mary was only 10 years old when she made this sampler contributes further to its interest.

Mary may have been the daughter of Solomon Walter of York, Pennsylvania who was born in 1758 and the initials SW as stitched by Mary may be his. We have known of two York, Pennsylvania samplers with prominently featured parrots that might point to these as regional characteristics, as well.

Worked in silk on linen it remains in excellent condition, and has been conservation mounted into a black painted, molded frame.

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