1982.0054 Sampler and Frame
  • 1982.0054 Sampler and Frame
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Sampler (Verse sampler)

  • Category:

    Textiles (Needlework)

  • Creator (Role):

    Lydia Dolby (Maker)

  • Place of Origin:

    Camden, Kent, Delaware, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

  • Materials:

    Linen; Silk

  • Techniques:

    Embroidered, Woven (plain)

  • Museum Object Number:


  • Complete Details

Object Number


Object Name

Sampler (Verse sampler)


Textiles (Needlework)

Credit Line/Donor

Museum purchase

Creator (Role)

Lydia Dolby (Maker)
December 8, 1795-July 22, 1812
Lydia Dolby was born on December 8, 1795. Her parents were Elizabeth (1758-1843) and William Dolby (1758-1827) of Camden, Kent County, Delaware. Lydia was the fifth child out of six, and her parents were members of the Murderkill Monthly Meeting, established in 1705. Lydia attended the Camden School, established in 1806, and worked this sampler as one of its first students. Lydia died young - she was only 16 years, 7 months, and 14 days old. She died on July 22, 1812 and is buried in the Murderkill Friends Burial Gound, South State Street in Magnolia, Delaware. Her father died at Camden, February 22, 1827, at age 69, and her mother died May 10, 1843, aged 85.

Place of Origin

Camden, Kent, Delaware, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Inscription; Top edge of sampler; "Camden School State of Delaware 11th Month 1806" (embroidered threads)
2. Inscription; Bottom edge of sampler; "Work'd by Lydia Dolby" (embroidered threads)


Linen; Silk


Embroidered, Woven (plain)

Construction Description


Dimensions (inches)

14.25 (L) , 14 (W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

36.195 (L) , 35.56 (W)

Measurement Notes

Measurrements of frame: H (at left) 16.5 in. (41.9 cm); W (at bottom) 16.2 in. (41.2 cm); D (at bottom left corner) .9 in. (2.2 cm).

Object Description

Web - 09/17/2014

This is a linen verse sampler worked with silk threads in 1806 by Lydia Dolby of Camden, Delaware, while attending the Camden School. The design on her sampler is similar to those made at the Southern Boarding School held in Smyrna (about four miles away). The one difference with Lydia's sampler is that the bottom corner floral motifs are missing. The 15 line verse on Lydia's sampler was taken from a hymn written by John Ogilvie (1733-1814), a metrical interpretation of Psalm 148. Lydia signed her work: "Camden School State of Delaware 11th Month 1806 / Work'd by Lydia Dolby"

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Catalogue] 1985 Delaware Antiques Show Catalogue.
Published: p. 55, fig. 5
[Book] Anderson, Lynne & Allen, Gloria Seaman. 2014 Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers.
Published: p. 29