Mary Swaffield,

Silk Embroidery, “In God Is My Hope,” 1837

size of silk embroidery: 10" x 7¼" • framed size: 13½" x 10¾" • sold

We were delighted to have acquired this very appealing silk embroidery that is either American or English. In the foreground stands the classic, allegorical symbol of hope, a robed lady leaning on a large anchor. A sailing ship on wavy water and a rocky shore with a lighthouse imply the specifics regarding this hope. It is all surmounted by a banner with further indication of the theme, with a cheerful winged angel in a cloud. Notable details include what is likely a portrait miniature around the lady’s neck, her billowing shawl and large conch shells at her slippered feet. The painted faces are wonderfully expressive, with optimistic expressions.

We also admire the shaded rocky shoals with leafy greenery and the garland of leaves and buds looping around her inscription, which reads, “Febry 14 1837.” In the overall, Mary created a silk embroidery that is beautifully composed and executed.

It was worked in silk and paint on silk and is in excellent condition. It remains in its original mahogany veneer, beveled frame.



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