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.
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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