Pamela Mackey,Rutland Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1831
This is one of those memorable American schoolgirl samplers that boasts one of a kind visual folk artistry with countless other superlatives. This important Berks County, Pa. folk art sampler that descended in the Sechler-Mackey family, features not just a historic American provenance but a fanciful scene that has not heretofore been seen before.
A young boy in his brilliant blue outfit has climbed up into the family apple tree and is shaking apples down to his mother and sister who are dressed in matching red dresses and carrying a basket in which to gather the windfall ! ! !
If this endearing scene were not enough, a beehive, on a table worked in those same blue silk hues, rests upon a lawn and is abuzz with the frenetic activity of swarming bees.
The entire lower pictorial panel is animated with great needlework artistry. Above this fabulous folk art imagery an exquisitely rendered vining cartouche frames a moving aphorism along with the brightly colored initials of the talented instructress. Finally, as an additional testimony to the advanced abilities of our talented schoolgirl, the entire sampler is framed with a most difficult to execute Queen Stitch strawberry border! It is signed Pamela Mackey's Sampler wrought in the 13th year of her age, AD 1831, with blue silken bands above and below her inscription and a plethora of Sechler-Mackey family initials throughout.
Pamela was the daughter of Thomas Mackey and Catherine Angstadt, born in Rutland Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania on December 19, 1819. Later her family migrated to Milton, Pa. She married Daniel Montgomery Sechler of Milton, Pennsylvania on January 19, 1841. They had one son, Thomas Mackey Sechler who later took over his fathers business in Moline, Illinois. At the time of his fathers death , it was the second largest corn planter works in the world and is today one of the great manufacturing establishments of Moline. Daniel, a carriage maker by trade but later a businessman who founded and ran many companies, was from a prominent family that founded Danville Pennsylvania in Montour County. He was the son of Rudolph Sechler and Susanna Douty. The course of his business ventures took him along with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Mackey and Sechler ancestors embodied significant early American provenance. Samplermaker Pamela's great great grandfather, Martin Mackey, was a Revolutionary War soldier who fought with George Washington's army and was killed at the Battle of Brandywine. His son, the samplermaker's great grandfather, Andrew Mackey, was an American soldier in the War of 1812, and her father Thomas Saylor Mackey was a Major in the Pennsylvania Militia and for a time was magistrate of Northumberland Co.
The samplermaker's husband's family is equally impressive. Thomas Sechler's great great grandfather came from Austria to Holland to America with his brother in the 1600s, settling as part of the William Penn Colony. One hundred and seventy eight years later the descendants of these brothers were fighting on opposite sides in the Revolutionary War! Great grandfather John Sechler (b.1739) was a soldier for George Washington from 1776-1778. After the war he founded Danville Township in Montour County, Pa. On the husband's maternal side, mother Susannah Douty descended from John Cooper, one of the early settlers from Plymouth Colony. Grandfather John Douty was also a Revolutionary War hero who was taken prisoner.
Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition with vibrant color, is 17" x 17" (sight) and is conservation mounted in its original grained veneer frame with ripply glass. A packet of research data about the family accompanies the sampler.
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