1955.0083.003 A,B Needlework Picture and Frame
  • 1955.0083.003 A,B Needlework Picture and Frame
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Needlework coat of arms (Embroidered hatchment)

  • Category:

    Textiles (Needlework)

  • Creator (Role):

    Betsy Putnam (Maker)

  • Place of Origin:

    Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, New England, United States, North America

  • Date:


  • Materials:

    Silk satin; Ink

  • Techniques:

    Embroidered, Woven (plain)

  • Museum Object Number:

    1955.0083.003 A

  • Complete Details

Object Number

1955.0083.003 A

Object Name

Needlework coat of arms (Embroidered hatchment)


Textiles (Needlework)

Credit Line/Donor

Museum purchase

Creator (Role)

Betsy Putnam (Maker)
Per a letter from the Library of The Essex Institute dated May 6, 1952: "Betty and Elizabeth are very common names in the Putnam family of Salem and Danvers. There are over fourteen living during the late 18th century. In the Salem Vital Records is listed the following-- Elizabeth, daughter of Bartholomew and Sarah Putnam, born Dec. 7, 1764. We would have to have more information to identify your Betty." (See object file in Registration)

Place of Origin

Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, New England, United States, North America



Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Inscription; bottom center of piece; "WROUGHT BY BETSY PUTNAM" (embroidered silk threads)


Armorial device


Silk satin; Ink


Embroidered, Woven (plain)

Construction Description


Dimensions (inches)

14.25 (L) , 10.12 (W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

36.195 (L) , 25.705 (W)

Measurement Notes

Dimensions refer to area of needlework visible within frame.

Object Description

Web - 01/20/2016

This coat of arms needlework picture is worked with silk and metallic threads on a cream plain-woven silk. It was worked by Betsy Putnam of Salem, Massachusetts while she was attending school in Salem or Boston between 1790 and 1810. Few Americans at this time were entitled to bear coat of arms, yet in New England it was fashionable to use them as household decoration. This coat of arms does not appear to belong to the Putnam or any other family, so it was likely that Betsy, and her sister Sally who wrought a nearly identical piece, copied it from the works of heraldic artist John Cole Sr. The inscription on Betsy's picture reads: "BY THE NAME OF PUTNAM / WROUGHT BY BETSY PUTNAM".

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Swan, Susan Burrows. 1977 Plain & Fancy: American Women and Their Needlework, 1700-1850.
Published: p. 173, fig. 95
[Article] Ring, Betty. 10//1993 New England Heraldic Needlework of the Neoclassical Period. Antiques. 144: 484-493.
Published: p. 487, plate VI
[Book] Swan, Susan Burrows. 1995 Plain and Fancy: American Women and their Needlework, 1650-1850.
Published: p. 183, fig. 99