Object Record

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Object ID 1999.010
Object Name Picture, Needlework
Collection Textiles
Credit line DHS Purchase
Date circa 1876
Made Sarah E. Anthony
Description Large, framed needlework picture made for display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia by Sarah E. Anthony of Smyrna, DE. This design received a "Medal for Originality in Design" and a "Diploma for Excellence in Workmanship." The piece is divided into two sections. The upper section has a black velvet background with a central 16 1/2" x 7 3/4" embroidered panel depicting a three-masted ship at sea. There is white text embroidered above this image: "Welcome / To Our Shores, / All Nations." Flanking this text are the flags of Brazil (left) and Italy (right). Beneath these flags are crossed flags with text "Africa. America" (left) and "Europe. Asia" (right). There are also single letters "MR", "C", "G", "S", "J".

The lower part of the composition has a gold velvet background and a large central Masonic compass motif that is embroidered with various flowers. Inside it is an embroidered bust portrait of George Washington with white text "'Tis Well." The compass motif is surrounded by various flags for England, Germany, Russia, France, and Prussia, in addition to a white lily with text "Egyptian." Additional motifs include and Eagle and Shield with text "E Pluribus Unum," and crossed American flags with text "Hail Columbia / 1776 1876." The lower right corner has an embroidered cross with text "take up" surrounded by text and associated images for " Praise / Wear / Plenty / Peace / Search."

The piece is accompanied by a printed silk panel (in the object file) that provides a contemporary explanation of the symbolism in the piece: " 1776 International Exhibition, Philadelphia 1876 / In this Embroidery the observer finds a / Welcome / To our shores of all nations. / A marine piece of 28,000 stitches, representing a ship at sea. / The representative flags for the four quarters of the globe, Switzerland, Japan, the Moors and / Guatemala; and other flags and emblems. / The Scripture piece reading, "Search the Scriptures, praise, take up the Cross and wear the / Crown, and anchor in plenty and peace." / The floral designs on Square and Compass in the Masonic Emblem represents the English and / American Ivy, the Rose of England, the Shamrock of Ireland, the Thistle of Scotland, the favorite / flower of the Empress of Russia, and other stitching. / "'Tis Well," above the face of Washington (surrounded by the square and compass, were his / last words. / His favorite flower was the Blue Violet; it has fallen from its stem, emblematic of Death. / Sarah E. Anthony, / Smyrna, Del. / Awarded / Medal for Originality in Design, / Diploma for Excellence in Workmanship."
Dimensions H-48.5 W-38.75 D-2.5 inches
Dimension Details framed dimensions
Subjects Needlework
Search Terms Smyrna
Sarah Anthony
1876 Centennial Exposition
Needlework Pictures
Nineteenth Century
International Exhibitions
Material Wool & silk on velvet
Place of Origin Smyrna, DE
Event 1876 Centennial Exposition