bullet Needlework - Sampler

My dear Caroline,

I send you in the Parcel which contains this, your Painted muslin Frock, and a new Nightgown, both of which however I neglected to mark in proper time with ink, you must therefore mark them with thread; I hope they will fit you.

In haste I remain your affectionate

Mother Sarah Kummer

Nazareth, Thurs. Evening Aug. 8th

Sarah Hinchcliffe Kummer wrote to her daughter, Caroline, a student at the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies in Bethlehem, in 1833 or 1834. Samplers allowed girls to learn practical stitchery, as proper housekeeping required that all clothing and household linens be marked with the initials of the owner. Beginning in the 17th century samplers included alphabets, signatures, dates and verse. Girls of all classes, ages 5 to 9, would work samplers under the supervision of either a mother, grandmother or teacher. Girls who went to school continued with fancy embroidery if the family could afford it. For the alphabet samplers, depending on the year created, the letter "J" is absent. The German language, commonly used in Moravian schools through the early 19th century, did not have an equivalent sound to the letter "J", and so the letter was not considered a proper letter. The stitcher sometimes added inventive design motifs such as family possessions, pets, birds, houses, or trees. This sampler contains two alphabets -- one with a "J" and the other without.

Caroline Louisa Kummer, 1828, wool cross-stitch on linen, Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, a member of Historic Bethlehem Partnership.

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