Sampler made at the Westtown Quaker School

Rebecca Marsh American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 727

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.

Sampler made at the Westtown Quaker School, Rebecca Marsh (American, born 1791), Silk embroidery on linen, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.