Sampler by Hannah Fison
Origin: America, probably Pennsylvania
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground of 48 x 48 threads per inch (fiber identification by textile lab)
Gift of the John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, Fund, Inc., through the generosity and interest of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, and members of the family
Acc. No. 1979.608.1
This is a nearly square framed sampler with silk embroidery threads on a natural color linen. An inscription that reads, "18 Hannah Fison 26/Aged 12 Years" is stitched in the middle of the sampler and is surrounded by symmetrical pairs of trees, flowers, and animals. In the top left and right corners are single potted flowers. Working toward the middle, there are pairs of smaller flowers in pink crowns, triangular trees, tricolor trees, and a central flowering tree with a bird on top. The next row features the following pairs, from the outer edges to the center: trees, potted spiky plants, tall unpotted plants, and pink and brown birds. The next row is as follows: tall plants, potted orange and pink flowers, fleur de lis, and stags framing an orange flower. The next row: small white flowers, orange flowers in baskets, green plants, potted flower with a large central orange flower and smaller pink, blue, and white flowers. This central potted flower runs the length of the bottom two rows. The bottom row is as follows: tall flowering plant, white, orange, pink Quaker-style flower bouquets with birds, and small white dogs. The sampler has a small strawberry border on all four sides.
Stitches: cross, satin
Label:As she stitched on her sampler, Hannah Fison made this sampler in 1826, when she was 12 years old. Hannah's sampler emphasizes symmetry, with each motif depicted twice. Hannah's work is typical of samplers created in the middle states in the first decades of the nineteenth century.
Provenance:Collection of Mr. & Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd; brought from Fieldwood Farm, Tarrytown, N.Y., April 1962, for use in Bassett Hall. Given to C.W.F. in 1979.