REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.— A rare New Castle County Delaware
sampler will be offered in the booth of John Tompkins of Richmond,
Va., at the 60th Annual All Saints’ Antiques Show next week. The
sampler was worked by Priscilla Talley of Talleysville, in 1839, when
she was 15. A sampler is a piece of embroidery produced
as a demonstration or test of skill in needlework.
“The quality of the composition and colors belies the fact that it was
made by a young girl,” says Tompkins. “It has the folky qualities of
something made by a much more mature craftsman.”
Tompkins explains that the pot of flowers with hearts, the strawberry
border, twin squirrels roosters, are all motifs encountered in Delaware
Valley objects of this period, but rarely in such lush abundance.
The sampler was discovered in Richmond, still in the home of a direct descendant.
“It was kind of an Antiques Roadshow moment,” he says. “The owner
brought me in to see some pretty average furniture, and here was this
amazing object hanging on the living room wall.”
The verse Priscilla stitched seems appropriate for a minister’s daughter, although other young women wrought similar verses to:
“This work in hand my friends my have
when I am dead and in my grave
and when the work each time you see
I with my Saviour hope to be
The work I leave to those I love
when I have flown to world above
When all my sorrow will be ore
When friends will need to part no more”
“There are a great many samplers out there for sale,” says Tompkins,
“but it is rare to find one with such lush composition and color, and
with a great history as well. There are many Pennsylvania samplers, but
Delaware examples are rarely on the market.”
Held at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, the show will officially
launch 6 p.m., July 29 at the preview party. Tickets to the preview
party are $30, which offers unlimited attendance over the three-day
show. The show will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
July 30 and July 31, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 1. Admission is $7.
The show’s sponsor, All Saints’ Church, is the only church in Rehoboth
Beach on its original site and maintaining its original design. Listed
on the National Register of Historic Places it was constructed in the
1890s to meet the needs of a growing number of Episcopalians migrating
to the area.
Show managers Melrose & Duddy bring 25 years of antiques show
experience to the All Saints’ show and have successfully managed
antiques shows since 2007.
Additional information is available on the web at www.rehobothantiques.com.
— Posted by Karen Knapstein
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