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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Band sampler

Ann Sayres (born 1727)
Made in Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States
Silk embroidery on linen
Framed: 18 11/16 x 10 9/16 x 1 in. (47.5 x 26.8 x 2.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joel B. Leff Charitable Trust, M. B. and Fannie Finkelstein, and Charles C. Townsend Jr. Gifts, and Gift of Joan G. Hancock, in memory of Frances Burrall Henry, by exchange, 2004
Accession Number:
Not on view
American samplers made before 1750 are very rare. In this piece the silk threads retain thier fresh colors. It features three bands of alphabets and seven bands of decorative motifs, and is inscribed by its maker, Ann Sayers. Worked mainly in cross and satin stitches, the patterns found in the central horizontal bands are typical to Boston area samplers.
Inscription: Inscriptions (from top): (Three rows of alphabets, followed by seven rows of decorative motifs,) ANN*SAYReS*IS*MY*NA/ME*ANd*WITH*MY*NEEDEL [sic] * I*MADE*/ THe*SAME*ThE*GRASS*IS*GrEEN*THE/ROSE*IS*red*here*IS*MY*
SAMPLER*/when*I*AM*DEAD*1739*ES*TS*/ IS*eS*AS*/ FS(?)*hS*/ (alphabet).
This sampler was bought by Amy Finkel at Christie's South Kensington (London) Sale #9733, Nov. 11, 2003. It was part of the Emma-Henriette Schiff von Suvero (1863-1924) Collection. This collection of decorative arts was formed before her death in 1924, and remained with her family until 1939, when it was confiscated by the Nazis and "sold" to the Staatliche Kunstgewerbemuseum, Vienna (now known as the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst.) The collection remained there until Spring, 2003, when it was rightfully restituted by the Austrian Government to the descendants of Emma-Henriette Schiff von Suvero. They chose to sell it through Christie's in at least two separate sales during Summer and Fall 2003. (See the letter in the file from Christie's, dated March 12, 2004, stating that the consignors of the Schiff von Suvero collection signed a warranty that they were the legal owners of this material.)
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