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Object Timeline

2003

  • We acquired this object.

2006

2015

2021

  • You found it!

Sampler (USA), 1796

This is a Sampler. It was embroidered by Polley Thomas. It is dated 1796 and we acquired it in 2003. Its medium is silk embroidery on linen foundation and its technique is embroidered in cross stitch with withdrawn and deflected element work on plain weave foundation. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The embroidered samplers in the museum’s collection are some of the most outstanding examples of this type found anywhere in the world. With over 1,000 examples that range from the 17th through the early 20th century, the samplers originate from countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, France, Mexico, Great Britain, and the United States.

This sampler is part of a larger group of samplers proposed for acquisition. The samplers span nearly 200 years and are from England, Germany, Austria, Spain, and the United States. Together, they would be an extraordinary addition to the collection.

This object was donated by William H. Mathers and Myra Mathers. It is credited Gift of Myra M. and William H. Mathers.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 48.3 x 48.3 cm (19 x 19 in.) Warp x Weft (unframed): 43.2 x 43.2 cm (17 x 17 in.)

It is inscribed

Polley Thomas was born April 01 1784 and worked this sampler in the 12 year of my age 1796

Cite this object as

Sampler (USA), 1796; Embroidered by Polley Thomas (American, b. 1784); silk embroidery on linen foundation; H x W x D: 48.3 x 48.3 cm (19 x 19 in.) Warp x Weft (unframed): 43.2 x 43.2 cm (17 x 17 in.); Gift of Myra M. and William H. Mathers; 2002-26-4

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18697331/ |title=Sampler (USA), 1796 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=13 June 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>