Mary Louisa McCully's sampler

Mary Louisa McCully's sampler

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This sampler features a picture of two children, a dog, a parrot, and a butterfly in a garden with a floral border. A dog symbolizes fidelity and watchfulness, a parrot suggests talkativeness, and a butterfly symbolizes immortality. These are appropriate motifs to go with young children. Mary worked her sampler in Patterson, New Jersey. Patterson was home to many textiles mills in 1840 and that may have been the reason her family came to live there. Her pattern was probably a Berlin wool work pattern. In 1820 with the introduction of Berlin wools comes the name Berlin wool work patterns. These patterns were hand painted on graph paper. The sampler is stitched with wool and silk embroidery thread on a cotton canvas ground with a thread count of warp 24, weft 24/in. The stitches used are cross, crosslet.
Mary Louisa McCully was a cousin of Frank H. McCully, in whose memory the sampler was donated to the Smithsonian.
Currently not on view
Object Name
embroidery, Berlin woolwork
date made
McCully, Mary Louisa
place made
United States: New Jersey, Paterson
Physical Description
cotton (canvas ground material)
wool (thread material)
silk (thread material)
overall: 15 1/4 in x 19 1/2 in; 38.735 cm x 49.53 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Laura J. Wasser, in memory of Frank H. McCully
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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