Collections › MESDA Collection › Sampler


Ish, Lucinda
Place Made:
Loudoun County Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
silk on linen
HOA: 25; WOA: 20 3/4 (frame 24″x 28 1/4)
Accession Number:
MAKER: Lucinda Ish (1799-1839) was one of ten children born to Jacob Ish (1767-1840) and his wife Susannah King (1773-1847) in Loudoun County, Virginia. The Ish family owned a tanyard south of Leesburg near Gilberts Corner, Virginia. Lucinda was twelve years old when she completed this sampler. In March of 1817 Lucinda married John R. Adams. They lived in the Leesburg area until about 1830. They later moved to Shelby County, Tennessee, where Lucinda died in 1839. Only three of their children lived to adulthood.

DESCRIPTION: Sampler is embroidered in satin, herringbone, queen, rice and cross stitches. Central portion has two alphabets, one set of numerals and name inscription at top; the bordered verse is flanked by two birds (eagles) holding branches under eighteen stars – the number of states in the union in 1812. Centrally located is a large brick building with three birds, a female figure, and two dogs at the bottom. The sampler is enclosed on all four sides by a flowering vine border.
The verse in the center square, which has much thread loss, is a poem on friendship.
“O Friendship thou balm and rich sweetner of life,
Kind parent of ease and composer of strife
Without thee alas what are riches and power
But empty delusions, the joys of an hour.
How much to be prized and esteemed is a friend
On whom we may always with safety depend
Our joys when extended will always increase
And griefs when divided are hushed into peace.”

RELATED OBJECTS: A second sampler survives that was made by Lucinda Ish, which is still owned by her descendants. It is an alphabet sampler, dated February 25th, 1812 (S-15363). This more simple work shows that Lucinda was practicing the letters, motifs and stitches used on this piece, which dates only a few months later.

Credit Line: