Folk Art Sale at Sotheby’s to include Samplers

ImageSotheby’s in New York will be auctioning American folk art from the Ralph O. Esmerian collection on January 25, 2013.  The collection will be on exhibition prior to the sale from January 18 through January 24, 2014.

The sale includes over 200 works from a broad range of American folk art categories including paintings, watercolors, pottery, needlework, carvings and weathervanes, from the early 18th century to 20th century, from New England to Pennsylvania, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and beyond.

Included are four important samplers:

(a) a 1744 Boston Adam & Eve sampler by Lydia Hart; (pictured) which stitchers may be familiar with as it is available as a reproduction from the Scarlet Letter (

(b) a 1784 Newport RI sampler by Elizabeth Sheffield; also charted by the Scarlet Letter (

(c) an 1801 Newburyport, MA sampler by Mary Coffin;

(d) an 1847 Peters Township, PA sampler by Leah Young.

Additional textiles include a 1776 pocketbook, a c. 1740-1770 crewel embroidered pocket, a c. 1825  reticule from Brattleboro, VT, and  a c. 1720-1750 pocketbook with a basket of flowers embroidered in silk and metallic threads, possibly from Chester County.

A catalog is in preparation and will be available in print and online. Additional information including exhibition hours can be found here:



The Loudoun Sampler Guild is a group of sampler enthusiasts based in northern Virginia. We meet monthly for lectures, needlework classes and workshops, and field trips.

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