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

Philadelphia Sampler - Huber

Rachel Haas
Mary Zeller's School
Philadelphia, PA dated 1808

Rachel worked this delightful sampler at age 10. The school mistress created the overall design and the young students did the needlework. This sampler exemplifies the characteristics of other samplers from the Mary Zeller's School. Grounded with traditional motifs and symmetry while being enriched with randomly placed folksy symbolic animal motifs, gives this rare and important sampler a wisp of whimsy.

Animals living in harmony with one another give us a sense of tranquility and joy. Mary Zeller, designed samplers profuse with animals representing traits she no doubt encouraged in her students.

Deer - represents Christian values, honor, love, kindness, mercy, generosity, grace, piety and forgiveness.

Cow - is a symbol of gentle nourishment, motherhood, and prosperity. Cows are very generous with their lives and behave in the most selfless of manners. Cows are calming.

Lamb - symbolizes humility, peace, and innocence. The lamb carrying a banner represents Christ as the lamb of God, and also Christians as the flock.

Dog - a symbol of loyalty, openness, dependability and fidelity

Butterflies - In Christianity the butterfly symbolizes rebirth, immortality and the resurrection of Christ and also good luck.

Birds - are generally thought to symbolize freedom, they can walk on the earth and swim in the sea as humans do but they also have the ability to soar into the sky. They are free and many consider that they symbolize eternal life; the link between heaven and earth.

Mary Zeller's students were no doubt taught what the animals symbolized, giving young Rachael a lot to ponder while stitching this charming sampler.

Silk on linen; 18 ¼" x 24" framed.


(860) 388-6809


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