Motto Sampler 1929 Cross Stitch Embroidery in Maple Leaves Frame
- Vintage item
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This charming embroidered motto sampler, found in Missouri, was cross stitched on ecru linen in lively colors that have stayed bright for 90 years. The cheerful sentiment "The Glory of the House is Hospitality." is worked in gold with a scroll on each side. Above the letters are double doors topped with a pediment, flanked by gas lights on posts (many rural parts of Missouri did not start getting electric until 1936). Fancifully, the posts have a large standing rabbit to one side and a parrot on a perch on the other (our favorite bits). Below the letters, the woman who embroidered this beautiful piece proudly signed her name in the center of a black oval: ALTA. That name was most popular for girl babies in the 1890's, which is possibly when Alta was born, as she made this in 1929 and dated it at the bottom in blue. Pink flowers and green foliage around the edges complete the composition.
The embroidery measures 18 3/4 inches tall and 9 3/4 inches wide. It's set in a hand made, cross corners wooden frame with cut out maple leaves mounted at the crossing points and nicely carved sides. These "Adirondack" style frames became popular near the end of the Victorian era, when city folk were building getaway cabins in the woods and furnishing them appropriately. We believe this is the original frame for this embroidery; it's backed with a thin slat of wood and somewhat rusty nails. Two screw eyes hold a floppy piece of copper wire for hanging. We've left it for authenticity but if you'd like a new, coated wire, just let us know and we'll have our framer add it for free (but it'll take a day or two). The overall measurements are 19 inches tall and 15 inches wide; the weight is 2 1/2 pounds.
Now for condition: the embroidery is in very good unwrinkled shape, with some lightly darkened areas that do not detract (the darker areas at the very top in the photos are just shadows from the leaves). The glass is fine, with no chips or scratches, but the frame has had a few hard knocks over the years, as is pretty usual for this style. The bottom two leaves have had their tips sheared off, thankfully in nice straight lines. A piece of the lower left leaf was broken off at some point and glued. The lower right hand piece that sticks out also popped off and was glued, which shows on the back, not the front. The inner liner, which still shows most of its original gilding, has a small bit of damage at the bottom (this is all shown in our photos). We always point out any faults in items we sell so you know what you're getting, but this piece does display so delightfully. If you love cozy, cottagey, comfy décor, this large, almost-antique motto sampler fits you perfectly.