Montgomery or Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1793
An interesting and early Mennonite sampler, this was made by Elisabeth Meier in 1793 and is inscribed in German, “Elisabeth Meierin Bin Ich Genant Mein Namen Stet In Gotes Hand,” which translates to, “Elisabeth Meier am I called / My name stands in God’s hand.”
Elisabeth worked her alphabets and various spot motifs in classic Pennsylvania German fashion; it is the largest motif that places the sampler in a small group of Mennonite works written about in Samplers of the Pennsylvania Germans by Tandy and Charles Hersh, (The Pennsylvania German Society, 1991). Specifically, it is the large OEHBDE element (O Edel Herz Bedenk Dein Ende / O Noble Heart Consider Your End), along the right that features a heart at the center and two hearts dropping down at the bottom. This unusual version is found on another sampler made by Feronica Gros in 1798 within the Franconia Mennonites of Bucks and Montgomery Counties and allowed for our knowledge of the origin of Elisabeth’s sampler.
The Meier family (also spelled Meyer and Moyer) was a prominent one in that area and remains so today. The sampler was worked in silk on linen and in excellent condition, conservation mounted into a molded and black painted frame.