A superb Chester County, Pennsylvania needlework picture, signed Mary Ann Sharpless and dated 1824, worked in silk on linen and with a ribbon border.
Like other examples of samplers by students of East Goshen schoolmistress Elizabeth Passmore, whose name appears on this piece, the composition is centered by a poetic passage entitled "Extract" above which Mary Ann stitched the names of the members of her family. A centrally placed willow tree surmounts a blue field filled with grazing sheep, a large spotted rabbit, and flowers, all within a meandering floral-vine border.
Mary Ann was born on February 10, 1809 and died on December 11, 1869, one of nine children of Jesse Sharpless and Ann Harvey.
The ribbon border with corner rosettes entirely surrounds the work and is in fine condition. It has a border edging not usually seen on these works, and, although it clearly has been on the work for most of its life, it may have been applied when the work was first framed at a slightly later date. The piece is now conservation mounted on linen and set back from the glass within a modern frame.
Related examples made by students of Passmore can be found in "Girlhood Embroidery" by Betty Ring, p. 401; "A Gallery of American Samplers: The Theodore Kapnek Collection" by Glee Krueger, p. 56: and "The Joan Stephens Collection: Important Samplers and Pictorial Needlework", Sotheby's January 19, 1997, number 2098.
Sight dimensions are 26 1/4 inches wide and 23 inches high, and framed dimensions are 29 1/4 inches wide and 26 inches high.