Saturday, April 4, 2009

Late 19th Century and Civil War Era Samplers

1860 Harriet Higgin
McNairy Co.?
23"V x 22"H © TSS 215
silk and wool on 24 ct. cotton

Despite the strains of the Civil War, Tennessee girls did not put down their needles. Needlework trends changed; Berlin work became popular throughout Northwestern Europe and the New World. Tennessee girls adapted by working Berlin motifs into traditional sampler patterns.

Harriet Higgin may have lived in Polk County or McNairy County. The style and materials of this sampler point toward a West Tennessee origin (McNairy County) rather than an East Tennessee origin (Polk County).

The latest (or youngest) sampler that we have found is dated 1883, showing that Tennessee girls continued to work samplers throughout the 19th Century.

1883 Eliza Lay
Scott Co.
16 1/2"V x 19 3/4"H © TSS 101
silk and wool on 28 V/36 H ct. linen