Embroidered Sampler

Maker: Rebekah White (1753–1823)

Date: 1766

Geography: Made in Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Embroidered silk on linen

Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 17 1/4 in. (41.9 x 43.8 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Gift of Barbara Schiff Sinauer, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.331.8


The pastoral courting scene embroidered beneath the lettering on this sampler relates to the more formal tent-stitch needlework pictures created by Boston girls during this decade. Salem samplers are characterized by long filling stitches made from untwisted silk floss. This early sampler is one of a small group made in the school of an unknown teacher who may have introduced this technique, which remained popular in Salem into the nineteenth century.