Needlework picture done in wool and silk embroidery in cross and diagonal tent stitches on a linen ground, which is inscribed "1767/ Mary*Upelbe" and came from the Appelby Family of, Newburyport, Mass. Embroideries such as this were a symbol of success and refinement, and were prised possessions prominently displayed by the family. The picture shows a cream-colored bird perched on a leaf over a young man and woman reaching out to each other. The man is wearing a pale blue two-pocket waistcoat with bottons down the front and outlined in dark blue with a red rose lining, cream stock and stockings, and black shoes; and the woman has flowers in her brown hair, a pale blue neck choker, and is wearing a scoop-neck, vertically-striped red dress outlined in dark blue, lace on her sleeves, brown petticoat, and light-colored shoes. The couple is standing on a small hill surrounded by flowers, with two sheep being chased by a dog in the foreground. An almost identical sampler, wrought by Elizabeth Newsam in 1753, was offered by a Philadelphia dealer in 2011. The two pieces have a clear association with mid 18th century Boston canvaswork pictures with their vertically striped dresses, mounds on which the figures are standing, specific handling of certain flower blossoms, stitches employed, and use of silk and wool.
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