Important Maury County, Tennessee needlework sampler, silk on linen, signed Margaret A. Reaves and dated 1830. Sampler features a floral border enclosing 3 alphabets and 1 row of numbers, over a double tombstone panel center. At left are stitched figures of a man and woman in fine clothing, in profile on either side a tree with bird perched in its branches. At right is an urn of flowers. Below is a stitched verse, “Here orange trees with blooms and pendants shine / and vernal honours to their autum join / exceed their promise in the ripend store / yet in the rising blossoms promise more / State of Tennessee Maury County / Margaret A. Reaves sampler 1830″. Sampler has been stitched to a tan mat and framed under glass. Sampler: 13″ x 10 1/4″; later giltwood frame: 16 1/2″ x 14”. Sampler has been documented by the Tennessee Sampler Survey, which noted “This elaborate sampler is unique among Tennessee samplers for its mastery of difficult stitches and unusual couple and tree motif. Margaret’s expert stitching included cross, cross over one, bullion knot, buttonhole wheel, eyelet, four-sided, hem, pattern darning, queen, rice, satin, and stem.” A genealogy report accompanies the sampler, and additional genealogy information is included on the back of the frame. Exhibited, “Middle Tennessee Samplers: This My Name Shall Ever Have,” Polk Presidential Hall, Dec. 17-April 10, 2011. Private Middle Tennessee collection. CONDITION: Overall fading; staining to lower 1/3 of sampler; about a half dozen small holes to right side of sampler along border and next to the date 1830 (largest is 3/4″L). Possible old thread repair to lowermost row of stitches (below the word County). Sampler is not glued down.
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