Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sampler made at the Westtown Quaker School

Rebecca Marsh (American, born 1791)
Made in Chester County, Westtown, Pennsylvania, United States
Silk embroidery on linen
12 3/4 x 16 3/4 in. (32.4 x 42.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Virginia F. Thors, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
This sampler, made by Rebecca Marsh (b. 1791) in 1802, is an accomplished example of a distinctive type of embroidery made only at Quaker schools like the Westtown School in Pennsylvania’s Chester County. The Quaker emphasis on simple, yet careful and precise sewing, enabled students from such schools to become some of the best needleworkers in the nineteenth century who often went on to teach embroidery to other young women. Rebecca entered Westtown in June 1802 when she was eleven and stayed until February 1804. Her sampler is related to two other Westtown examples in the Museum’s collection (2005.19 and 2005.20), both made by Sarah Thomas (1786-1826) in 1801.
Reflecting the Quaker emphasis on practicality, Rebecca only had to master half of each of the "snowflake" motifs that appear around the edges of the sampler because the other half would have been a mirror image.
Inscription: IM HM/ West-town School/ Rebecca Marsh/ 1802
Related Objects

Embroidered sampler

Artist: Sarah Thomas (1786–1826) Date: 1801 Medium: Embroidered silk on linen Accession: 2005.20 On view in:Not on view

Sampler made at the Westtown Quaker School

Artist: Sarah Thomas (1786–1826) Date: 1801 Medium: Silk on linen Accession: 2005.19 On view in:Not on view

The Shepherd’s Grove

Artist: Agnes Yeakle Date: 1811 Medium: Linen or cotton embroidered with silk thread Accession: 1984.365 On view in:Gallery 727

Embroidered and Painted Picture

Artist: Sarah L. Skelding Date: 1813 Medium: Silk embroidered with silk and painted Accession: 62.141 On view in:Gallery 727

Memorial Picture

Artist: Folwell School Date: 1803 Medium: Silk with embroidered silk and metallic threads, paper, sequins, and painted Accession: 56.66 On view in:Gallery 727