1.13.2012

Welcome Phebe...

Phebe has come to rest
her weary threads
upon the walls of our home. 

Meet Phebe...
Please pardon her holes. 
She is a little ragged around the edges 
and
even missing in some places. 
Her edges are paper thin.
She cost me more
then what I probably should have paid for her,
{sigh}
but I like her,
alot...
holes and all :-)
My first 18th century sampler,
"Phebe Cooper - 1791"
She is old.
Two hundred twenty one years old,
to be exact...

1791 was the year.  
How old is that?
  Let's think about this for a bit,
shall we?
In 1791 George Washington was president. 
  The Betsy Ross 13 star flag was flying.
There were just the 13 original colonies,
with Vermont becoming the 14th in that year.

The Bill of Rights was signed,
in the same year... 

When I think about her age,
it makes me feel better about
the holes, the stitch loss
and 
my purchase...

Do I sound like someone who is justifying
a purchase? :-)
These are all things I will tell the 
dh when he asks me "how much"???
A brick house, a dog, a sheep, a cow and a man with walking stick
adorn this piece...
some of my favorite sampler motifs. 
Proverbs Chapter 3:13-18 are stitched over 1,
with the rest of the sampler worked over 2 threads. 
To the best of my counting abilities (without cheaters on),
it appears to be about a 52 - 54 count linen.  
Yes,
those letters worked over 1 thread 
are teeny tiny folks...so dainty!
Let's just say Phebe had good vision.
Question,
did they have cheaters (magnifiers) in the late 1700's??
Young eyes perhaps?

Rows of the alphabet 
are worked along the top, 
some in regular cross stitch
and 
some in tiny eyelet stitches,
a stitch I'm still trying to perfect...
The sampler came to me
by way
of a
Connecticut estate auction. 

Makes me wonder
how someone could part 
with such a piece,
a family heirloom...

So kids of mine,
if you're reading your mother's blog posting today...
remember to tell your kids
someday,
that the samplers don't get sold
when I'm gone!!!

Have a good weekend,
Brenda

26 comments:

Laura Short said...

Beautiful! I love old samplers... Anyway, I get Skinner, Boston notices in my email and there are some samplers coming up for auction in the next couple of weeks. If you go to www.skinnerinc.com/index.php and search for "sampler", they will come up. Enjoy!

Sassafras and Winterberry said...

I'm in awe over the stitch count. New to this craft, I am doing what I can do with 28 and 32! Beautiful find for your collection!
Hugs,
Courtney

Keeper of the Crowes said...

To be able to hold history in your hands is simply priceless!!! I love it, Brenda.

Christine M said...

I can't imagine owning something that old. How very special. It's hard to imagine someone sitting and stitching the sampler over 200 years ago!

Cathy Lloyd said...

Amen to no selling of samplers! I've told that to my daughter as well. There are plenty of people she can share them with. Always love reading your blog!

Jamie said...

Oh my goodness. I'm just beginning a sampler research project for my local museum. What a fascinating example you have in your possession! I'm envious! So beautiful! Jamie V in Mt
http://rem-nants.blogspot.com
amzanioli@yahoo.com

Merilyn said...

Phoebe would have been blown away to think that her humble but quite magnificant sampler would be shared all over the world via your blog!!! I love the fact that you have drawn on historical events to put in perspective the age of this piece! Thankyou for sharing it and I'm amazed by the fine stitches, the colours too still holding their own after all this time!!! You can't put a dollar value on something like this, so I wouldn't worry about the pennies spent!!!! Just enjoy it!!!!

P.J. said...

Handwork history. I love the eyelet letters, one of my favorites. Just makes it so dainty. Congrats on a great investment.

Kim said...

Oh my....I am struggling with my older eyes and a 28 count pattern over 1 stitch. I can not even fathom what Phoebe did....well done!!

I agree, please keep my little samplers in the family. :-)

Peggy Lee said...

WOW! What a find. Worth every penny.
Love those tiny eyelet stitches.

Shirley said...

Hi Brenda, A beautiful old piece of work. Such delicate looking stitches. There are stitches today that I had wished I had paid better attention to when my mother was trying to teach me. Have a great weekend. Your Missouri Friend.

Jenny said...

Truly wonderful piece of history. I imagine Phebe would be pleased to know that her work is being admired and cared for so many years later. I hope this art form continues on for another 200 years (at least).

Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

Oh, be still my heart - what a gorgeous sampler, and from 1791!!
Fifty count linen, since most girls stitched a sampler around age ten they had nice young eyes!
The eyelet stitch is similar to the rice stitch, isn't it just smaller? I am practicing the special stitches, they seem to appear in some designs that I want to stitch this year.
Whatever you paid for the sampler it's worth it to you. When my sister was here last year she bought an antique sampler from the 1700's that was unfinished. That usually means that the child died.
It's a beautiful sampler and she didn't bat an eye at the price
(I had to sit down!). To buy an antique sampler or quilt is like no other feeling in the world.
I'm happy for you.
P.s. Mom and Dad Eagle have been back and forth to the nest again.
I can't believe it's another year for them again

Annette said...

I cannot thank you enough for sharing photos of your sampler and the history. I LOVE IT. My first thoughts were of Phoebe. Could she have ever thought her sampler would have been passed on this long. Wow. Well, you truly own a piece of history and a piece of your hearts passion - Needlework. Absolutely priceless.

Croccheta said...

bellissimo questo lavoro

Siobhán said...

Oh my goodness!! What a gorgeous sampler. I love the colors in it. Your connecting the date on it to the history happening in the world at that time makes it that much more amazing to me. Imagine what Phebe would think if she knew that people all over the world would be able to view her sampler by looking on the computer...

Mouse said...

that's exactly what I tell mine too ..lol love the sampler and boy she must have had good eyes and was really neat too :) love mouse xxx

Krista said...

what a beautiful find! The detail work is amazing.

cucki said...

wow ,,it is so beautiful..i love it so much with my heart..
love the tiny eyelet stitches..
hugs cucki xx

Dona said...

It is a very sweet, beautiful sampler, and even more amazing when considered against the world events of her time! The colors are so pretty. What a nice reproduction it would make!

Lynn said...

She is so gorgeous! I found a sampler dated from the early 1800s while on vacation this past summer. I dearly would have loved to take it home with me but it was out of my price range.
The stitching abilities of these young girls amazes me. I mean really, over one on 52 ct!!
My DH says he gets a kick out of listening to my "justifications"!

Bon said...

We need the Smithsonian to start a 20th and 21st Century stitcher's wing where we can will our samplers to for future generations to admire!!
;)

Anna said...

from 1791 to 2012, from a handful of people seeing it to millions viewing it...WOW worth every penny!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Aren't those alpha-eyelets amazing? The man is adorable, too. Think it may be GW? Tell DH we're so happy you splurged so we could all get a glimpse!

TheCrankyCrow said...

oh, Oh, OH!!! What an amazing treasure you've come upon!! You lucky duck you!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Rebecca said...

Your new sampler is so precious. Love the pic of the cow. I have several samplers with cow's on my list to do. Just something so sweet about them. Reminds me of the story's of my father's when he was a boy with the cow on their farm. Must just be something in my DNA that draws me, beside my Bachelor's degree in Agriculture.
Thank you for sharing the wonderful picture and colonial sentiment.