M Finkel & Daughter

American Sampler and Bead Chain from Maine, 1833 and 1835

American Sampler and Bead Chain from Maine, 1833 and 1835

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Hangings: Pre 1900: Item # 1417190
M. Finkel & Daughter
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936 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Susan T. Chamberlin, Sampler and Bead Chain, Lebanon, York Country, Maine, 1833 and 1835
sampler size: 16½” x 11¾” • sampler framed size: 18½” x 14" • bead chain framed size: 8¾” x 11¾”

We were delighted to have acquired a sampler and a bead chain both worked by the maker, Susan T. Chamberlin of Lebanon, York County, Maine. The sampler is a very good alphabet one with two fine flower basket motifs flanking another of a flowering plant along the bottom. Bead chains are a highly unusual type of women’s work, popular in America in the 1830s and made on looms made for this form of weaving. The beads used in this process are approximately half the size of glass beads found today, and they were imported from Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. Bead chains were used as necklaces or as watch chains and can be found on subject in period portraits. Additional information can be found in Woven Bead Chains in the 1830s (Lynne Bassett, The Magazine Antiques, Dec. 1995). Susan included her date of birth and the year it was made into her weaving: “Born April 22 1823 Aged 12 Years 1835” along with motifs such as anchors, stars and diamonds.

Susan Chamberlin was indeed born on April 22, 1823 – in Lebanon, York Co., Maine to Charlotte (Tarr) Chamberlin (1795-1873) and Amos Chamberlin, Jr. (1793-1870). The family lived on a farm in Lebanon, which, according to Lebanon, Maine Genealogies, 1750-1892, was built in 1799 was still standing in 1940. Susan was the second of their four surviving children. Susan married Thomas K. Bartlett of Newmarket, New Hampshire and Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 21, 1843. They had three children and Susan died on September 14, 1890, age 67. She is buried in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

The Chamberlin family traces its ancestry back to the 16th century and the first to arrive in America was Francis Chamberlain (1589-1613) who settled in Massachusetts. Susan’s great-grandfather Captain William Chamberlin (1725-1815), a ship captain and church deacon, removed to Lebanon, Maine.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition, conservation mounted into a molded and painted black frame. The bead chain is also in excellent condition.