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Susan F. Lawrence, Quaker Marking Sampler, Pennsylvania, 1834

The best Quaker needlework has long been admired for the strength and simplicity of its design and the faultless rendering of its execution.  Marking samplers were made to learn and practice the important skill of marking linens. Some communities, such as the Shaker communities, would have needed a precise and organized way of marking on every fabric since they laundered their linens communally.   Thus, a marking sampler was usually the first effort of a young child . . . the stitches showing their mastery of the alphabet and also serving as a reference for marking linens.

The Westtown School was founded in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1799 and within a few years other area Quaker Schools were producing samplers modeled on the Westtown designs. Young women who attended Westtown were hired by various Monthly Meetings to teach their schoolgirls.  While we know from the school records that Susan, our samplermaker, did not attend the Westtown School per se, she definitely created her sampler in the Westtown Style. The garland at the top attests to that.  If it were Westtown it would have more than likely had the traditional bellflower in the center.  Sight size: 17.5 x 10.5 , Framed 20.5 x 13.5

Susan's parents were Henry H. Lawrence (b:1791) and Mary Folwell (b:12 Oct 1798 in Philadelphia MM, Pennsylvania), Susan was born in 1822 and was the 6th of 7 children born to the couple.  Susan died, unmarried, in 1861.  This classic Quaker sampler with its handsome proportions and composition is a precisely executed needlework with little superfluous decoration and embodies the tenants of Simplicity, Diligence, Temperance and Economy.


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