Lot 853
  • 853

Very Fine, Rare and Important Needlework Sampler: 'The Chase', Mary Mchard, Probably Newburyport, Massachusetts, Circa 1758

25,000 - 50,000 USD
25,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • needlework
worked in silk on a linen ground; signed Mary Mchard Born December 31, 1746 this Sampler I Wrought / The Year 1758 Goodness & mercy Ever follow those who / Shape their Conduct by Gods holy Laws Mary Mchard; the upper register with band of alphabets above a three segmented band with checked sawtooth border, each with rose numerals; below an embroidered scene of "The Chase", leaping stags, fruit trees birds and strawberries.


Mary McHard Jenkins (1746-1837), Newburyport, Massachusetts;
to her daughter Margaret Jenkins Morris (1770-1865), Newburyport, Massachusetts;
to her son Lewis Henry Morris (1807-1859), Newburyport, Massachusetts;
to his daughter Helen E. Morris Howland (1842-1925), New York;
to her daughter Caroline Elizabeth Howland (1864-1950), New York and Bergen County, New Jersey;
to her friend and neighbor Marjory H. Devore McKenzie (1900-1992), Bergen County, New Jersey;
to her daughter Susan Hawley McKenzie Sellet (b. 1930), Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
Thence by descent to the present owner.

Catalogue Note

The present sampler by Mary Mchard is related to one worked by Sarah Toppan, born May 16, 1748, illustrated and discussed in Betty Ring, Schoolgirl Embroidery, Volume I (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1993) pp.114-115, figs. 126, 127.  Another similar example was worked by Mary Starkey (1749-1774), dated 1760 and from Newbury, Massachusetts, is in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia (accession no. 1961-57). 

Mary Mchard's father, William Mchard, signed a 1763 petition for Newburyport to be made its own town, separate from Newbury. Once the separation was accomplished, he became "Surveyor of High Way". Joseph Mchard, Mary's brother, was part of a company under the command of Captain Moses Nowell, marching to Lexington in 1775 after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Extensive information about Mary Mchard's family is available in John J. Currier's "History of Newburyport".

Sotheby's is grateful for the research provided by the Mchard family by Emily Shafer, Newbury Historical Society.