Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart

Warminster, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania, 1789

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sampler size: 17½” x 14” • frame size: 22¼” x 18¼” • price: $3800

This finely worked sampler exhibits the salient characteristics of a group worked at the end of the 18th century in the area just north of Philadelphia. These samplers exhibit a balanced composition inside this specific, complex and unusual border that frames a tidy little house with birds and animals. Some of these samplers are worked on very fine linen gauze and all of the samplermakers were taught extremely fine needlework.

Sarah Hart was born on November 6, 1776 in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania to Ann (Watts, 1759-1815) and Josiah Hart (1749-1800), as recorded in the Southampton Baptist Church record. She was the eldest in her family of six, with four sisters and one brother. On December 7, 1797, she married William Shelmire and they raised seven children.

Sarah Hart descended from Rev. John Hart (1661-1702) who emigrated from Leeds to Lower Dublin, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania in 1686 and became the pastor at the Pennypack Baptist Church. According to Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, “the family has been a prominent one in Bucks County and elsewhere.”

Josiah Hart purchased a sawmill and land from his father, the land located on on Pennypack Creek in Moreland Township, where Sarah was born. In 1795, he sold the land and the family removed to “the old Watts plantation” in Southampton, now known as Davisville. He was “a prominent and active man in the community, and during the Revolution was captain of the Moreland Company of Philadelphia County Associators. This and additional information from Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania by John W. Jordan, LL.D (The Lewis Publishing Company, 1911).

Sarah died on May 3, 1838 at age 61 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is buried in Southampton, Bucks Co. in the Old School Baptist Meeting House Cemetery.

Worked in silk on fine linen gauze, the sampler is in excellent condition with some very small areas of breaks to the linen and one small area where it was darned some time ago. It has been conservation mounted and is in a mahogany frame with an outer bead.


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