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

Charleston, SC - Huber needlework

Sarah E. Thurston
Charleston, SC c.1843

Rare Southern overall needlework picture inscribed: Worked by Sarah E. Thurston at the Academy of the/ Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Charleston S Carolina. The academy was founded by Bishop John England and patterned after St Joseph's Academy in Emmitsburg, MD founded by Ann Seton.

Sarah was born in 1831 and lived in New York City with her parents and younger brother. Her father, and his brothers, were the 3rd generation to work in the family piano manufacturing business. Her family moved to Richmond, VA, where her father Jasper Thurston (1806-1866) worked as a piano tuner. After her mother Frances "Fanny" Durando died in 1841 at age 30, her father sent Sarah to the newly established Academy in Charleston, SC, where she worked this piece when she was probably about 12 years old.

At age 24, in 1855, she became the 2nd wife of 26 year old Capt. Hanford Nichols from Black Rock, CT, where they lived and raised a large family. She and her husband died the same year, 1881 she at age 50, and he 52.

Wool on punched board; 16 ¼" x 20 ¼" sight, 19 ¼" x 23 ¼" original frame.


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