The Indian Princess

Date: ca. 1750

Geography: Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Wool and silk on linen, embroidered

Dimensions: 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. (27.3 x 34.9 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Screven Lorillard, 1953

Accession Number: 53.179.13


This is one of five known versions of this design completed by young ladies at school in Boston. All are stitched in wool using Roumanian couching and feature the rather large upright shepherdess, with her smaller shepherd suitor in a black hat to one side. The Museum's shepherdess traditionally has been called the Indian Princess because of what appears to be a feathered headdress peeking out from behind her hair. In the eighteenth century, an Indian princess was an accepted symbol for the American colonies. None of the other shepherdesses in this group of needleworks is graced with this symbolic accoutrement.