Sally H. Fox,

Sally H. Fox,

Berkley, Bristol County, Massachusetts, 1821

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sampler size: 16¾” x 17¼” • framed size: 21” x 21¾” • sold

A praiseworthy sampler with a wonderfully folky scene dominating the lower portion, this is signed, “Sally H. Fox’s work wrought in th8 year of her age 1821.” Sally was quite young to have created this highly developed sampler with its fine Federal brick house, two ladies and a young girl, many birds and two dogs set on a sawtooth lawn with wonderful trees and flowers. Two delightful verses, both of which were traditionally used on American schoolgirl samplers, were stitched below and above this pictorial register. A large alphabet, worked in the round script and set on three lines, appears along the top, surmounted by splendid flower branches. At the center of the top, Sally stitched the name of her town, Berkley, which is about 25 miles west and south of Plymouth. She also stitched two sets of initials in the lower corners of the sampler – her own in the right corner and PB, perhaps those identifying her teacher, in the left corner.

Sally Hastings Fox was born on October 2, 1813, the daughter of Captain Jabez Fox (1777-1862) and his second wife, Lydia (Hodges) Fox (1787-1821). She was named for Jabez’s late, first wife, Sally Hastings (1777-1808), daughter of the Lieutenant Governor Hastings of New Hampshire. A published family history relates that Jabez Fox served many important civic positions, including Justice of the Peace in 1820. He represented the town in the convention to revise the Constitution of the State in 1830. The progenitor of the family was Thomas Fox who was in Concord, Massachusetts as early as 1630 and removed to Cambridge where he remained for many years, functioning there as town selectman.

Our samplermaker, Sally, married Deacon Thomas Chace Dean (1813-1882) in 1836 in Berkley and their four children were born between 1838 and 1845. She died in 1904, at age 90 and is buried in the Fox Cemetery in Berkley.

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.

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