Harford County, Maryland, 1819
A group of highly significant, sought-after samplers comes from Maryland; these are called the Fruit and Flower Samplers; most of them are large and beautifully made samplers with fabulous borders of splendid, fat pineapples, dark blue grapes bunches on leafy, tendrilled vines and outstanding flower baskets below. Those within this group that are the most highly developed feature a delightful scene of sheep and butterflies in the center panel. A Maryland Sampling: Girlhood Embroidery, 1738-1860, by Gloria Seaman Allen (Maryland Historical Society, 2007), discusses this group at length and identifies Ann Barclay Cloud’s Bel Air Academy, located in Bel Air, the county seat of Harford County, as the source of some of these samplers. Blanch Welch, born circa 1808 in Harford County, worked this praiseworthy sampler in 1819; it is a new discovery and important addition to this group and is attributed to the Bel Air Academy. It closely resembles Susanna Holland’s sampler, made in 1816, in the collection of the Baltimore Art Museum.
Blanch Welch was born circa 1808 in Harford County, Maryland and in 1837 married Joshua Rutledge (1797-1843). He was from an early Harford County family. Blanch and Joshua had one child, a son, born in 1842 and Joshua died the following year. The 1850 census shows Blanch and her 8-year-old son, named Joshua for his father, living in Harford. Blanch died in 1854.
Worked in silk on linen, it is in excellent condition and conservation mounted into a figured maple frame.