Sampler by Eliza W. Hand
Origin: America, Mid-Atlantic
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground of 27 x 32 threads per inch
(fiber identification by eye).
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. John and Jerine Dunham
Acc. No. 1998-146
This is a needlework sampler worked in shades of green, brown, blue, yellow and an ivory and tan (which may have been pink or red) silk embellishment threads on a natural-color linen ground. The sampler consists of a verse on "Innocence" centered in the top section. The verse reads: "Innocence/ Tho' youth may fade with all it's bloom,/ And nervous strength decline, / Yet age shall yield a rich perfume, / If Innocence be thine." Centered below the verse is the signature "Eliza W Hand/" and date "1827". Surrounding the verse are 12 sprigs of flowers, 2 baskets of fruit/flowers, and 2 birds with sprigs of flowers in their mouths. The sprigs of flowers can be identified as roses, Johnny jump-ups, French pinks, lilies of the valley, rosebuds, and possibly bunches of Indian pinks.
The sampler is enclosed on all four sides in a strawberry and vine inner border. In lower right corner is an 8-pointed star. An outer saw tooth border in satin stitch is on all four sides. The sampler is hemstitched on all four sides.
Stitches: cross (over 1 and 2), hem, and satin
Label:Eliza Hand's sampler is similar to ones stitched in southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey schools, where the needlework was often influenced by Quaker teachers. The floral sprays worked in cross stitch, eight-pointed star, and birds carrying sprigs are common Quaker motifs. The sprigs of flowers include Johnny jump-ups, French pinks, roses, and lilies of the valley.
Nothing is known of Eliza Hand. Her sampler is nailed to its original wooden backboard.
Provenance:Per Jerine K. Dunham of East Brunswick, N. J. in 1998, the sampler "was purchased at a barn sale about 10 years ago and given to me."
No further provenance is known.
Nothing is known of Eliza Hand, the sampler maker.
"Innocence/ Tho' youth may fade with all it's bloom,/ And nervous strength decline, / Yet age shall yield a rich perfume, / If Innocence be thine."
Centered below verse is the signature "Eliza W Hand/" and date "1827".