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Object Name: Sampler
Date: 1812
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Medium: Linen, silk
Dimensions: Overall: 18 x 20 3/4 in. ( 45.7 x 52.7 cm )
Place made: North America, United States, Albany
Description: Horizontal rectangular unfinished linen sampler with various colors silk floss; horizontal rows of alphabets, numbers, family record and mottoes separated by rows of design across upper two-thirds, naturalistic images and house at bottom, sides and top bordered by floral motif, straight border across bottom; cross stitched.
Credit Line: Gift of Nanette Bryan
Object Number: 1961.18
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Marks: embroidery: above center, brown floss: "SoPhia Bryan Born May 16th 1805. Albany APril 1812."

Gallery Label:

Sophia Bryan was almost seven when she worked this sampler incorporating the names and dates of her parents and their four children. Her father, John Bryan, was a prominent Albany merchant. Sophia embellished her sampler with a stylish Federal house, complete with hip roof and double chimneys. Signifying security, comfort, and happiness, the house may have been symbolic or an actual representation of her home or school. Her verse is from Alexander Pope's "Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady," first published in 1736.


"Home Sewn: Three Centuries of Stitching History," New-York Historical Society, November 18, 2003-April 18, 2004.