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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Smead, Sophia
Culture:American (1784-1843)
Title:sampler
Date Made:ca. 1795
Type:Textile
Materials:textile: polychrome silk floss; unbleached plain weave linen
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Franklin County
Measurements:framed: 11 7/8 in x 10 1/2 in; 30.1625 cm x 26.67 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2000.4.1
Credit Line:Gift of Karen L. Dunn
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Description:
Needlework sampler done in silk thread embroidery in two shades of green, two shades of brown, and cream on an unbleached linen ground fabric in a loose weave, which has the inscription, "sophia smead" and the intials "S S." Sophia Smead (1784-1843) was the daughter of Solomon Smead (1754-1825) and Esther Smith Smead (1757-1808) of Greenfield who married 1777. Sophia Smead was the fourth of fourteen children, but 12 of her siblings and her mother died by the time she was 25yr. Her father then married Lovina (or Larinda) Burk (1765-1829), the widow of John Burk (1760-1796) of Bernardston, in 1809. Sophia married Robert Wheeler (1777-1863) of North Stonington, Connecticut, in 1814, where they settled and had five children, including Sophia Wheeler (1821-1840). The sampler has the alphabet in block and curvsive letters, two fruit baskets and two fruti trees, and a four-sided scrolling but and vine border. HD has a watercolor profile (HD 70.132) of Sophia Smead, her wedding dress (HD V.053B), and a christening gown (HD V.053a) probably made by Sophia Smead Wheeler; a sampler (HD 2004.4.2) made by Sophia's daughter, Sophia Wheeler; a silhouette (HD 70.133) of Lovina Burke Smead; and pair of lace sleeves (HD V.53C) from the same family but without any provenance. The donor is a descendent of Asa Stebbins (1800-1864) of Deerfield through Asa's son, Francis Ward Stebbins (b.1829) and Ellen Wells Stebbins (d.1872); to Francis' son, Roland Stebbins (b.1853) who married Florence Rebecca Barney (1856-1902) of Greenfield in 1879; to Roland's daughter, Ellen Wells Stebbins (1883-1980) who married Lloyd Herbert Lipp (d.1965) in Billings, Montana, in 1905; to their granddaughter, Karen L. Dunn. Ms. Dunn also found a note (in data file) written in ink in the family Bible referring to another sampler: "Sampler / Made by Abigail Smead [1787-1808] daughter of Solomon Smead of Greenfield Mass. in the 10th year of her age in 1797. She died in Jan. 1805 of spotted fever aged 18 years. The initials of A.P. stand for Abigail Smead. C. S. for Clarissa Smead [1782-1855]. S.S for Sophia Smead. P. S. for Polly Smead [1791-1807]. S.S. for her father Solomon Smead and E. S. for her mother Esther Smead. / Harriet E. Barney / Denver Col. Feb. 5th 1804" and written "Ellen Wells Stebbins" in pencil on the back.

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