Mourning Sampler

A work made of silk, warp-float faced 4:1 satin weave; embroidered with silk and silk chenille in split, surface satin, and stem stitches; couching.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silk, warp-float faced 4:1 satin weave; embroidered with silk and silk chenille in split, surface satin, and stem stitches; couching.

Date:

c. 1810

Artist:

Mary (Polly) Balch's Academy
United States, Rhode Island, Providence

About this artwork

This sampler commemorates the deaths of Nicholas (1767–1797) and Mary Bullock (?-1802). It is likely that is was stitched by either Mary or Louise (Louisa) Winsor, daughters of Mary Bullock Winsor (1767-1816) and Nicholas Winsor (1767-1797). The family connection and style of this piece, and other related works, link it to Mary Balch’s school in Providence. The inclusion of the trumpeting angels indicates that this piece is among the earliest mourning embroideries made at the school. Silk on silk embroidery demonstrated advances needlework skills for a young women. This memorial sampler, along with other types of mourning art, is not a morbid tribute, but rather a beautiful and sophisticated expression of sentiment for the dearly departed.

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Textiles

Artist

Mary (Polly) Balch's School

Title

Mourning Sampler

Origin

Rhode Island

Date

1800–1820

Medium

Silk, warp-float faced 4:1 satin weave; embroidered with silk and silk chenille in split, surface satin, and stem stitches; couching

Dimensions

42.2 x 58.8 cm (16 1/2 x 23 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Textiles Collection

Reference Number

1971.146

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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