Last winter, an intrepid group of Loudoun Sampler Guild members braved snow and slush to travel to New York City to see the Betty Ring collection of samplers before they were auctioned at Sotheby’s. The visitors were delighted to have a chance to see those wonderful works up close, before they dispersed in many different directions. Now we’ll have a chance to do it again, because we hear that the Mary Jaene Edmonds collection will sell at auction at Sotheby’s as a part of a larger auction to be held in January.
The sale is scheduled for Saturday, January 26 either in a morning or afternoon session. There will be a catalog for the entire auction, including the samplers.
The works being offered were published in Mary Jaene Edmonds’s book, Samplers & Samplermakers; An American Schoolgirl Art 1700-1850, published by Rizzoli in conjunction with an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991-92.
The collection comprises roughly 70 examples from the early 18th to the late 19th century, from all of the major sampler-making centers, including a rare sampler worked by Jane Liken from Shepherdstown, Virginia in 1822 (now West Virginia) and Mary Jaene’s first purchase; an example worked by Nancy Graves (Ku-to-yi) of the Cherokee Mission, Arkansas in 1828, and a rare example worked by Abbie Ann Carswell in San Francisco in 1857. There are also a legendary “beauties” – including the Barbara Baner sampler of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dated 1822 from the Theodore H. Kapnek sale in November of 1981; and Polly Phippen’s sampler worked at Sarah Stivour’s School in Salem, Massachusetts, dated 1783.
Maybe it’s time for another field trip!