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Stephen & Carol Huber: 17th - 19th Century Needlework

Norwich, CT sampler from Huber

Antique Needlework Sampler
Attributed to: Clarissa Ayres
Norwich, CT c.1791

Probably worked by Clarissa Ayers (1779-1797), this remarkably graphic sampler, with an overall stitched background, sold at Sotheby’s auction in the early 1990s. The previous lot was a similar sampler also from Norwich, CT and was inscribed: Mary Ayres aged 14 (1774-1825). Mary was one of 12 children born to Joseph Ayres and his second wife Mary Bailey. His first wife was Elizabeth Wales, she and his second wife each had six children.

The two samplers share many characteristics and both presumably were handed down in the same family and done by sisters. At the time of the auction both samplers were in identical frames, this one now has a new frame. Folded under at the bottom of this sampler is an almost illegible one inch high border that was inscribed with her name an date. It appears from the faint remaining information that her last name could be Ayres.

The random letters following the upper alphabet may be an anagram, for something that remains a mystery.

Silk on linen; 15 ½ ” x 11 ½” unframed.


(860) 388-6809


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