Adam and Eve Band Sampler by Catherine Hammett
Origin: America, Massachusetts, Boston
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground of 38 x 38 threads per inch (fiber indentification by eye)
Partial Gift, Gayle H. Wilhelmi, David H. Hammers, Jr., and Mark B. Hammers; and The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund
Acc. No. 2007-52
This is a long band sampler with polychrome silk threads on a natural-colored linen. The top of the sampler has a series of narrow bands of different designs, including triangles, waves, and zig zags. This series is followed by an alphabet "A-Z," along with an ampersand. Below this is another series of narrow bands of blue, white, green, tan, and yellow threads. Below this is a line of waves, and below this is a line consisting of a design made from eyelet stitches. The next bands are separated by sawtooth designs in different thread colors. Below the eyelet stitch band is a band of numerals "A" through "O," followed by another band with "P" through "Z," an ampersand, and three hourglass-shaped symbols. The next band features a series of white hexagonal lozenges surrounded by brown thread. The next band features a minute alphabet and ampersand. The following band features a zig zagging green vine with dark green leaves and white flowers. The next band features a blue zig zagging line with white and pink triangles. Following this is a band of a zig zagging vine with small green leaves and blue and white flowers.
At the bottom is a scene with Adam and Eve. The two figures flank a flowering tree onto which a serpent cling. There are two trees that frame the couple on the sampler's edges. The couple stand among blue, green, and yellow grass. Next to them are two animals that resemble goats. Below them are flowers, stags, dogs, snails, and other unidentifiable animals. At the very bottom of the sampler is an inscription that reads, "CATHERINE HAMMETT ENDED THIS SAMPLER IN THE/FOVRTEENTH YEAR OF HER AGE ANNO DOMINA 1748." Some of the first line and all of the second line of the sampler are not legible. Below this is a series of lines made up of triangles and zig zags.
Stitches: cross, detached buttonhole, eyelet, knot, long-arm cross, reversible cross, satin, stem
Label:Catherine Hammett's work is the latest of a group known as the "Adam and Eve" samplers, which were produced in Boston from 1724 to 1748. Characterized by the charming pictorial naïveté of seventeenth-century British embroideries, they retain the designs and techniques of an earlier time. For example, individual motifs were given a three-dimensional quality evocative of the raised-worked pictures and boxes of the previous century. Catherine worked the serpent that entwines the tree in detached buttonhole stitches to produce a creature that appears to jump off the sampler.
Provenance:In an email message to the curator dated November 30th, 2006, the donor (Gayle H. Wilhelmi) wrote: "There is a note taped to the back of the sampler frame that was written by my grandmother [Joy Hammers] who passed away in 1987. It reads: 'Made in 1742 (3?) by Catherine Wheaton (1st marriage) Hammett in Boston, Mass. My great great grandmother. The written record says great great great, but I think it is one too many." Although I live in Kentucky, I was raised in Maryland and my mother's family is all from upstate New York and they trace back to Massachusetts." In a second email message to the curator on December 8, 2006 the donor wrote: "...According to more notes that I found, she [sampler maker] would have been my grandmother's great great great grandmother. My grandmother was Ida Lonnelle Lovejoy Raymond (1894-1987) Deposit, NY/ Her father was: Anderson Emery Lovejoy/ His mother was: Margaret Parker Wheaten Lovejoy b. 1820/ ... Her mother was: Rebecca V. Wheaten Folensby (the second husband being Folensby) [Note that research at CWF could locate this person.]/ The notes say that the sampler was done by Rebecca's grandmother..."
CWF research revealed that a probable line of descent is: From the maker, Catherine Hammett, to a generation yet to be determined; to Margaret Follingsby (b. 1792 or 1794 in MA and moved to Deposit, NY); to her daughter Margaret Parker Follingsby (b. 1820); to her son Anderson Emery Lovejoy; to his daugher Ida Lonnelle Lovejoy Raymond (1894-1987, Deposit, NY), to her daughter Joy Hammers; to her children: Gayle H. Wilhelmi, David H. Hammers, Jr., and Mark B. Hammers.
HISTORY OF MAKER: Catharine Hammett, often written Katharine Hammatt, was likely born on March 3rd, 1734 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Captain Benjamin and Mary Hammatt. She married Edward Jarvis on November 5th, 1754. No further information about her is known.