This sampler is a real treasure. It appears to be American, probably Southern and early 18th century. From an important collection of samplers, I’m excited to offer Rebecca Bateman’s work.
The only Rebecca Bateman that I can find from this time period was born in Queen Anne Parish, Maryland on July 31, 1707. That would make her one day shy of ten years old when she completed this sampler. Rebecca was born to Ishmael Bateman and Mary Boyd. Ishmael was born before 1685 and died circa 1712. Mary Boyd was born before 1689 and died in 1753. They both lived their entire lives in Queen Anne Parish and, together, had at least 4 children. After outliving Ishmael, Mary married William Goe and they had at least two more children.
Rebecca was the second of the Bateman children and she married Thomas Tilley on November 3, 1726 in Queen Anne Parish. Thomas Tilley was born before 1706 and died before 1770, both in Maryland. Together, the Rebecca and Thomas had at least 3 children. Rebecca died June 19, 1770 having lived her entire life in Queen Anne’s Parish.
This wonderfully historic sampler is worked on unbleached linen in colors of green, rose, red, pink, grey, white and either brown or black. The center includes three alphabets, all capital letters and all three missing “J”; Arabic numerals 1 through 10; and her signature and date “Rebecca Bateman / July The 30 / 1717”. The sampler is edged with meandering flowers and leaves sprouting from a grey & white urn at the bottom and stopping just below a winged angel at the top. The facial features of the angel are added in ink which has aged to brown. The condition is marvelous for such an early treasure. It appears that Rebecca or her teacher drew her meandering flower trail and the circular grey border with ink which the budding seamstress then filled in with needlework. A minor amount of white thread has been lost but you really have to be examining the piece to notice. With greatly enlarged photos, you can see that the sampler was folded horizontally and is ever-so-slightly darker area along the fold. But I really didn’t even see the tone difference before I enlarged the photos. The base for the sampler is unbleached cotton muslin which has been carefully stretched over acid-free ragboard. The linen sampler has been hand sewn to the muslin. The sampler is housed in a well-made reproduction Hogarth style frame and has a spacer separating it from the glass. I can’t say that the colors are vivid but they are certainly still strong. I find it an amazing Colonial American piece of folk or schoolgirl art. Framed size is 7 ½” x 10”.
Note, I am working on getting permission to tell you who the former owner is and will update if allows.