Susan B. Gardner,

Susan B. Gardner,

Somerset, Massachusetts, 1833

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sampler size: 16” x 11¼” • frame size: 18¼” x 14” • price: $2800 $1960

Signed, “Susan B. Gardner’s Sampler Wrought in the 14th year of her age. Somerset July the 1st 1833,” this handsome sampler displays particularly good needlework. The large, stylized element in the lowermost register along with the design and execution of the border show the influence of 18th century sampler patterns, a likely indication that Susan learned from a talented instructress. Notably, there are some fine motifs - the three strawberries at the center of the bottom border and the zigzag at the end of the uppercase alphabet - that Susan worked using the queen’s-stitch, an unusual and early technique.

Susan’s family was among the earliest settlers of the area of Swansea and Somerset,in Bristol County on the Taunton River, just west of Fall River, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Peleg Shearman Gardner (1792-1866) and his wife, Martha (Buffington) Gardner. The Gardner family began with the progenitor, Samuel Gardner (1662-1696), who purchased 400 acres for 250 pounds silver in 1687 establishing the village of Gardner’s Neck, which remained home to the family from 1687 and for many generations. Our samplermaker, Susan, was a fifth-generation descendant of Samuel Gardner. Much information about the families is published in Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts (J.H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1912) and History of Swansea Massachusetts 1667-1917 (Published by the Town, 1917), and the families remained in the Somerset and Swansea areas.

Susan Gardner married Frances Cummings and they had at least two children. After the death of Frances, she married Robert Gibbs, a merchant of Falls River. She died on September 14, 1895 and is buried in Somerset.  

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and remains in its fine original, walnut frame. A photo of the back taken prior to mounting is included here: 

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