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A Maryland Sampling: Girlhood Embroidery…

A Maryland Sampling: Girlhood Embroidery 1738-1860 (2007)

by Gloria Seaman Allen

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This is a work of both scholarship and beauty. Ms. Allen has documented over 500 samplers, illustrating 150 of them in color in this book. There are a total of 240 illustrations, as she has included, where available, portraits of the embroiderers, as well as pictures of landscapes and monuments that inspired the designs. Ms. Allen has grouped them by the county in which they were produced. Since most samplers were presumably produced under the tutelage of professional teachers, they are then grouped by styles and subjects that seem to indicate a common source. In addition, Ms. Allen has groupings by minorities such as African-Americans and Jews.

It is remarkable to see the kind of work that even very young stitchers were capable of producing. The work includes not only samplers, per se, but other types of work done by young women. Where possible, Ms. Allen has given the reader information about individuals culled from a variety of sources. As a result, she adds to our understanding of life during this time period. The appendix includes a table of samplers, and there is also a detailed index.

This should become a classic in needlework. ( )
1 vote juglicerr | Feb 4, 2009 |
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This book is dedicated to all those who share my love of girlhood embroidery
[Gloria Seaman Allen]]

// With this handsome volume, the Maryland Historical Society expresses its appreciation to Barbara P. Katz for her distinguished service as president of the society from 2002 to 2005.
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Maryland lies along the Atlantic seaboard between the North and the South.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0938420984, Hardcover)

One of the nation’s premier textile scholars discusses more than 500 samplers and embroideries, most never before published. Reflecting Maryland’s rich mix of ethnic and religious cultures, they provide glimpses into the lives of young women from Colonial times to the eve of the Civil War.

Some samplers contain registers of family history; others are memorial or mourning samplers. Poems, moral precepts and biblical verses abound. Especially engaging are the samplers with "busy yards," populated by animals, birds and people. Exquisite silk pictorial embroideries were created under the tutelage of the Sisters of Charity at Saint Joseph’s Academy in Emmitsburg. Unique to Maryland are the embroideries worked by the children of free African-Americans taught by the Oblate Sisters, the world’s first order of black nuns. Quaker samplers are distinguished by broad compartmentalized borders filled with pairs of gorgeous flowers, butterflies and birds. Embroidered maps, all worked between 1797 and the early 1800s, form their own recognizable group.

Students of women’s history will be fascinated by the role of needlework in early female education. Modern day embroiderers will find inspiration in the designs. Collectors and antiques dealers have long awaited such a book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:56 -0400)

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