During the twentieth century, Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) assembled a vast collection of antiques made and used in America between 1640 and 1860 to furnish and decorate the interiors of his home. He had a special love for textiles and needlework; as a result, he acquired more than 700 pieces of American needlework for what is now the Winterthur Museum collection. Since Mr. du Pont's death, the museum has added to the collection through purchase and gifts from generous donors.
In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, girls learned needlework skills so that they would be proficient as adults. Some learned at home; others were sent to schools to learn under skilled needlewomen. One of the first things a girl created was a sampler to record the various stitches she had learned. One example is a charming sampler made by Victorine Delacroix in 1833 at
D. H. Mundall's Seminary in Philadelphia, accession no. 1994.0109.
Worked in silk on linen, the design is broken up into small spaces of different sizes that showcase varying stitches and designs learned at school. Figuring most prominently are two trees growing from hillocks. Birds and animals appear both in the branches and on the ground. Stylized baskets (and one vase) of flowers and fruits appear elsewhere, as do letters of the alphabet rendered in several different formats. Slightly below center is this poem:
Spirit, Creator of mankind / Come, visit every pious mind,
And sweetly let thy grace invade / Such hearts, O Lord, as thoust made.
The living fountain, fire and love / The ghostly unction from above
God's sacred finger, which imparts / A seven-fold grace to faithful hearts.
Victorine's name and the date of the sampler appear near the bottom, as does the name and address of the school she attended D.H Mundall’s seminary, No. 101 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia. D.H. Mundall’s stands for Mrs Deborah H. Mundall. Mrs. Mundall first taught in New Castle, Delaware at “DHM Seminary New Castle”. She then went to Philadelphia. Philadelphia directories list D.H. Mundall’s Seminary from 1828-1842. Mrs. Mundall died in 1850. Her husband, John, was listed as a merchant at the same address. He died in 1836 or 1837.
Stitches used are marking cross, cross over one, queen, rice, algerian eye and satin stitch.
Size: 13.25" x 22.5" (33.5cm x 57cm)
Thread Count: 40 thr per inch (16th/cm)
Recommended Level: Intermediate
Cost: Silk$189.00 DMC$145.00, cht. $30.00
Categories: , North American / Mexico, Winterthur
All prices are in US Dollars.