This is an outstanding and aesthetically pleasing Family Record sampler, with the vital statistics worked within a framework formed by a highly creative flowering plant. The stitching indicates a very high level of expertise and was accomplished onto almost impossibly fine linen gauze; clearly both the samplermaker and her teacher were talented needleworkers.
Lebanon and Berwick, small towns in southern Maine, were home to the Knox family for many generations. The American branch of the family began with Thomas Knox who emigrated as a young man by 1652 and settled in Dover, New Hampshire. His great great grandson John Knox served in the Revolutionary War, mustered out of York, Maine and saw active duty at the Battle of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. John's granddaughter, Emily Knox, born October 31, 1814 to John and Sally (Dore) Knox, was the maker of this sampler. Early town records published by the Lebanon Historical Society indicate that Emily's father was an "old-time singing master" and that her mother was from Lebanon and Berwick. Emily was the youngest of their ten children; she worked this sampler at age 12 in 1826 and died quite young, at age 16.
While family record samplers were made throughout New England, we have not previously seen one of a similar design and execution. Silk threads form the lettering, vines, leaves, berries and flowers and the pair of unusual polychrome leaves beneath the maker's name were worked predominantly using metallic wrapped thread. The sampler is in excellent condition with some very slight loss and it has been conservation mounted into a black molded frame.