1960.0327.003 A-C Sampler, Frame and Glass
  • 1960.0327.003 A-C Sampler, Frame and Glass
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Sampler (Genealogical sampler)

  • Category:

    Textiles (Needlework)

  • Creator (Role):

    Fanny Whitney (Maker)

  • Place of Origin:

    Portland, Maine, New England, United States, North America

  • Materials:

    Silk; Linen; Glass; Wood; Watercolor; Graphite

  • Techniques:

    Embroidered, Woven (plain)

  • Museum Object Number:

    1960.0327.003 A-C

  • Complete Details

Object Number

1960.0327.003 A-C

Object Name

Sampler (Genealogical sampler)


Textiles (Needlework)

Credit Line/Donor

Museum purchase with funds provided by Henry Francis du Pont

Creator (Role)

Fanny Whitney (Maker)
January 6, 1803-1842
Fanny Whitney, of Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, was born on January 6, in 1803. She is the daughter of William Clark Whitney (1765-1859) and Sophia (Fuller) Whitney (1779-1813). Her father was a prominent land owner in Hebron, Maine. Fanny made this genealogy sampler in 1822. It is made from silk, chenille, pencil, and paint on linen. Winterthur also owns a watercolor mourning picture by her. Fanny married Stephen Cummings (1803-1843) in Hebron, Maine on December 17, 1824.

Place of Origin

Portland, Maine, New England, United States, North America

Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Inscription; center of glass mat bottom; "By Fanny Whitney. 1822" (reverse painted on glass in gold)
2. Label; Side of frame; "60.327.3 b" (red paint)
3. Inscription; Backboard; "PORTLAND / Looking Glass Manufacturing. / EXCHANGE-STREET. / KEEPS constantly for / sale an elegant assort- / ment of Gilt and Mahogany / framed / LOOKING GLASS, / Toilet Glasses, &c. Embroi- / dery ; Portrait, Prints, &c. framed to any pattern, / Looking Glass plates set in / old frames. / N.B. Old Looking- / Glasses neio gilt and re- / paired." (printed, ink)


Silk; Linen; Glass; Wood; Watercolor; Graphite


Embroidered, Woven (plain)

Construction Description


Dimensions (inches)

23 (H) , 19.625 (W) , 1.25 (D)

Dimensions (centimeters)

58.42 (H) , 49.848 (W) , 3.175 (D)

Measurement Notes

Measurements above are for the frame. Sampler measurements: L 19.500" x W 17.250"; The dimensions refer to the visible area inside the frame.

Object Description

Web - 01/20/2016

This is a genealogical sampler with silk threads, chenille, pencil, and paint on a plain-woven linen ground. It was worked by Fanny Whitney of Portland, Maine. Portland samplers and needlework pictures are easily recognizable. An extraordinary interest in genealogies endured throughout the region during the first forty years of the 19th century, and family registers appeared in both samplers and silkwork pictures. The "winged cherub" is characteristic of a particular group of Portland samplers and mourning pictures. In this case, a penciled "winged cherub" separates the Whitney children's birth dates from a list of death dates for three of those children. This cherub motif also appears on Fanny's watercolor mourning picture and on other Portland samplers dated 1822.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Ring, Betty. 1993 Girlhood Embroidery: American Samplers & Pictorial Needlework 1650-1850. I.
Related family and other Portsmouth pieces published: pp. 249 - 257, Fig. 293.
[Article] Ring, Betty. 09//1988 Samplers and Silk Embroideries of Portland, Maine. Antiques. 512-525.
Published: pg. 515, pl. IV