Massachusetts, circa 1820
Provenance: Susan B. Swan Collection
A splendid sampler, this features a wonderful checkerboard bowl of flowers and a praiseworthy three-sided border of flowers and buds on a graceful leafy vine growing out of geometric vases. A teal-blue sawtooth inner border surrounds the alphabet and the verse, “Next unto God dear Parents I address / Myself to you in humble thankfulness / For all your cares and charge on me bestow’d / The means of learning unto me allow’d / Go on I pray and let me still pursue / Such golden arts the vulgar never knew.” A narrow green lawn grounds the composition well.
The inscription was worked inside an elongated, leafy oval and flanked by little floral sprays and reads, “Mary Endicott aet 10,” - aet is the Latin abbreviation for aetatis meaning “at the age of.”
The provenance of this sampler is highly significant as it was in the personal collection of the late Susan B. Swan, the revered, long-time Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Museum. The sampler remained in the collection of one of her sons and is now available for sale.
While the samplermaker, Mary Endicott, will remain without a specific identity, we can be sure that she lived in Massachusetts. Much of the family descended from Governor John Endicott who was born in Dorchester, England and emigrated to New England in 1628. Wikipedia states that he is regarded as one of the Fathers of New England and was the longest-serving governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He served a total of 16 years, including most of the last 15 years of his life.
The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. Please see the photo of the reverse of the sampler taken prior to mounting as it indicates that the sampler retains much of its original coloration. It has been conservation mounted and is in a black and gold frame.
photo of reverse