Lot Number: 278-1 (description taken from Sotheby's catalogue)
(To purchase call 860-388-6809)
This sampler worked by Fanny Drowne is reminiscent of a style prevalent in North America during the colonial period. Simple in design, the long, thin embroidery has been edged with a border so unobtrusive as to be unnoticeable. Fanny Drowne's schoolmistress may have been a recent arrival from England, for this sampler follows a traditional English pattern. The 1790s were a time of great experimentation in classrooms of post-Revolutionary America, particularly New England. Samplers appeared with wide flowery borders, fancy vases filled with colorful, exotic blossoms, and stylish figures parading across yards of embroidered linen. Yet this teacher appeared to have remained unaffected, steeped in the seventeenth century and aloof to the whims of fashion. Thus, the young Fanny was obliged to stitch her long, narrow embroidery in a manner that was distinctly unfashionable and definitely out-of-step. Although she has not yet been identified in any records, Fanny Drowne probably lived in Bristol County, Rhode Island, where several "Drown" families are recorded.1
1. Federal Census, Rhode Island, 1800. Girls around Fanny’s age have been found in the families of Benjamin, Daniel, and Jonathan Drown.
Exhibited and Literature: LACMA, Fanny Drowne, p. 49, fig. 12
Fanny Drowne- Adams House Antiques, Tuscon Arizona, October, 1986
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER