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Susquehanna Valley Needlework, circa 1810–1820
Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Silk on linen
19 x 21 1/2 inches
Courtesy of Van Tassel-Baumann American Antiques

This charming needlework by Frances Nisley, Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, circa 1810–1820, is a fine example from a well-documented body of work created by girls residing in the Susquehanna River Valley. It retains wonderful color and has an imaginative border motif resembling maypoles topped with flower baskets. Frances’s composition shows a strong relationship to other needleworks done in the area of Maytown, Columbia, and Wrightville, all approximately twenty miles down river from Middletown. Each of these towns had well-established schools at the time Frances worked her piece.

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