Labeled on the reverse: Ring Collection, The South- Elizabeth Ireland, No. 93 Not in cat.
Samplers and pictorial embroideries survive from the South in far lower numbers than from the North- a circumstance that has baffled scholars and collectors throughout the twentieth century. English women unquestionably brought their needlework traditions to Virginia and the Carolinas as well as to New England, and school advertisements testify to the availability of instruction in the ornamental needle arts. As yet, however, there are no recognizable groups of eighteenth-century embroideries from the South, and no more than six groups from the nineteenth century, with four of those from Maryland.
Southern schools appear to have been fewer in number and shorter in their duration until the late Federal period. Instruction at home with governesses may explain the absence of many repetitious designs; also, the competitiveness and enthusiasm fostered by a school situation was no doubt lacking. The performance and attitude encouraged at respected schools was well expressed on an English sampler of 1809;
A work like this performed for Public view
Young Ladies should with Elegance pursue
Your Teachers pains your Parents vast expence
Will be repayed by your strict diligence
Merit their Praise make this a Constant rule
Always to raise the Credit of the School.
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