Amy H. Holcombe

Mt. Airy, Hunterdon County,
New Jersey, 1836

sampler size: 17½” x 18½” • framed size: 21¾” x 22¾” • price: $7800

We are pleased to offer this excellent sampler which presents a beautiful large basket of flowers and fruit. It was made by Amy H. Holcombe, the daughter of a wealthy farmer and merchant from Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The lustrous low pale-blue footed bowl with its serrated edge holds flowers, leaves and vines  of trailing strawberries and is surrounded by an outstanding border of shimmering bunches of silvery grapes on a leafy vine. A pair of small fruit baskets decorate the upper corners. Overall, the effect is outstanding. 

The sampler is published in A Sampling of Hunterdon County Needlework: the motifs, the makers & their stories by Dan & Marty Campanelli (Hunterdon County Historical Society, Flemington, NJ, 2013), on page 91. A great deal of genealogy is included and the Campanellis describe this as a most charming needlework. 

Amy Holcombe included in her inscription the initials of her parents, Solomon and Catherine (Barber) Holcombe. The Holcomb(e) Genealogy A Genealogy, History and Directory by Jesse Seaver (American Historical -Genealogical Society, Philadelphia, PA, 1925) provides much family history and photocopies are included in the file that accompanies the sampler. The family stems from John Holcombe, a Quaker who settled near New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania and then resided across the river in New Jersey, by 1720. Mt. Airy is a small town north of Lambertville and was the home of the Holcombe family for generations. Amy was born in 1821, the fourth of the Holcombe’s ten children. At age twenty she married a miller and farmer, Bloomfield Blackwell, also of Mt. Airy. In 1860 Bloomfield co-founded the Lambertville and Rocky Hill Turnpike Company, in partnership with Amy’s older brother, Alexander Holcombe. Amy and Bloomfield became the parents of three children. She died in 1902 and is buried in the Second English Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Amwell. 

Worked in silk and linen on linen, it is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a 19th century gold leaf frame. 

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If you are interested in purchasing this sampler or item, contact us by phone (215.627.7797) or email ( or complete our quick form and we will respond promptly.  If by some chance you do not hear back from us within 24 hours after submitting your message, please get in touch as it means we didn't receive your inquiry. Thank you.

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