Saturday, August 9, 2008

Documentation Day in East Tennessee

1845 Minerva E. Carmack
Hawkins Co.
13 3/4"V x 10 1/2"H © TSS 217

Hawkins County, in northeast Tennessee, was founded before Tennessee was incorporated as a state. The Rogersville area was settled beginning in 1775. This early settlement accounts for the significant percentage of samplers that we have found from Hawkins County (five of 30 East Tennessee samplers/embroideries to date).

Minerva E. Carmack stitched that she was "Aged/17.ys" in "May/1845" in the space around the house.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

c. 1800-1805 Mourning Embroidery

c. 1800-1805 Mourning Embroidery
East Tennessee?
19"V x 16 1/4"H © TSS 216

We documented a mourning embroidery yesterday. The piece was found in the attic of a house in Knoxville. We hope, through land deed searches, to connect it to an East Tennessee family. The texts on the embroidery, which are rendered in ink, read:

In Death Remembered
As in life Beloved


In Memory of
Who Departed

Mourning embroidery was extremely popular in the first quarter of the 19th century, from 1800 to 1825. A young woman would, if she were fortunate to attend a female academy, work a memorial as the culmination of her needlework eduction.

A professional artist or an artistically inclined teacher would draw the pattern on silk. The young woman could then tint the background with watercolor and embroider the main motifs.

The only date on this embroidery is "1794," but that is the date of the death of the individual being memorialized, not the date of creation. It was probably worked within ten years of 1794.