Esther Copp's Sampler

Three block alphabets; two alphabets colored in pairs, one all black; no "J"; numbers 1 through 0. Simple geometric crossbands framed by flowering vine and rose bushes. At base of sampler, centered tree flanked by two framed inscriptions, with tulips and strawberries. Single row of cross stitch forms border on all four sides. Silk embroidery thread on linen ground. STITCHES: cross, petit point, Algerian eye, rice, queen. THREAD COUNT: warp 34, weft 38/in.
"Better it is to be
of an humble Spi
rit with the low
ly than to divide
the Spoil with
the proud"
"Esther Copp her
Sampler made in
the eleventh
year of her age
august AD 1765"
Jonathan Copp was born on June 12, 1694, and married Mrs. Sarah (Dennis) Hobart as his second wife on June 30, 1742, in Stonington, Connecticut. Their daughter Esther was born on October 23, 1754, in New London, Connecticut, and she never married. She died September 21, 1829. (See sampler by Phebe Esther Copp, her grandniece. A tree, rose bush, and one text are the same on both samplers.) Esther's sampler is part of an extensive collection of 18th- and 19th- century household textiles, costume items, furniture, and other pieces belonging to the Copps, a prosperous but frugal Connecticut family. The collection was donated to the United State National Museum in the 1890s by John Brenton Copp, offering the nation the opportunity to preserve and study the everyday possessions of a New England family.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Copp, Esther
Physical Description
linen (ground fabric material)
silk (embroidery thread material)
overall: 13 3/4 in x 11 1/8 in; 34.925 cm x 28.2575 cm
Place Made
United States: Connecticut, Stonington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Cultures & Communities
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. John Brenton Copp
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History

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