Saturday, February 21, 2009

House Samplers of Middle Tennessee and Map

Top Left
1827 Susannah D. Smith
wool? on linen
Brentwood, Williamson Co.
dimensions unknown © TSS 115

Top Right
1831 Mildred A. F. Nelson
silk on 25 ct. linen
Rutherford Co.
15” V x 15” H © TSS 157

Bottom Left
c. 1835 Harriet Daniel Bryant
silk on 22 V/28 H ct. linen
Maury Co.?
17 ½” V x 17 ¼” H © TSS 210

Bottom Right
1836 Mary Elizabeth Collins
silk on 30 ct. linen
Franklin, Williamson Co.
16 ¾” V x 16 ¾” H © TSS 128

The 1831 Mildred A. F. Nelson sampler (TSS 157) belongs to a group of four related samplers ranging from 1827 to 1836. The four samplers 1) are all square, 2) feature houses, 3) share stitch techniques (eyelet, rice, and four-sided) 4) have the same oddly shaped trees, the same color palette, and the same alphabet. We have not yet examined the 1827 Susannah D. Smith sampler, but it appears to be worked in wool, unlike the other three, which are in silk. I am eager to document Susannah's needlework--is that really a cow grazing beside her house? Mildred included a meandering stream in her landscape. The fruit baskets on Harriet's and Mary's samplers were popular motifs in Middle Tennessee throughout the 19th c. Harriet and Mary both showed a preference for tulip borders.

We have not yet established the connection among these girls, other than their relative geographic proximity and the evidence found in the actual samplers.

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Photograph of the 1827 Susannah D. Smith sampler courtesy of Bob Canaday/Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.

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