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)
Gift of Virginia F. Thors, 2005
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