Sophia Thurston,

Sophia Thurston,

New Braintree, Massachusetts, 1793

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sampler size: 16¾” x 8½” • framed size: 19” x 10¾” • price: $5200

This delightful sampler was worked in the classic vertical format of the late 18th century and is signed, “Sophia Thurston’s Sampler work’d in the 8th year of her age 1793.” It reads “A Good Man is a Wise Man” (using the archaic form of the letter “s”) across the top and continues with further aphorisms, alphabets and verse, but the very charming house and lawn scene and unusually appealing side borders give it its wonderful appeal. The detailed Federal house with tall double chimneys and the pair of black dogs under a fruit tree fill the space well and the borders of wonderfully assorted flowers, buds and berries decorate the beanpole-like plants. Sophia, at just seven years old, was an exceptional needleworker as is evidenced throughout.

The verse, a classically cautionary one, stitched in tan silk below the heart-shaped flower vase reads, “I at early dawn have seen / An opening rosebud fresh and / green But ere the evening / shades came on. The bud / was nip’d its verdure gone.”

The Thurston family lived in New Braintree, Worcester County, Massachusetts, a town right in the center of the state and due west of Boston. Joseph Thurston married a widow, Lucy Gilbert Howe, there on December 23, 1773 as recorded in the New Braintree Vital Records and on August 28, 1785, Sophia Thurston was born to the couple. Ongoing research may reveal more information about Sophia and her family.

The sampler is worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded and painted frame. 

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