Silk on linen
Overall: 17 x 20 1/2 in. ( 43.2 x 52.1 cm )
Horizontal rectangular linen cross stitch sampler with various colors of silk floss; New York's City Hall is the central image with a verse in the sky area, straight black inside border and surrounded by floral motif.
Gift of Stuyvesant Fish
Signature and date: embroidered across bottom: "Elizabeth Jane Hunters Work in The Year 1828" Inscription: embroidered verse: "Education is a companion which no misfortunes / can depress no clime destroy no enemy alienate / no despotism enslave At home a friend / abroad an introduction in solitude a solace / in society an ornament It chastens vice / it guides virtue it gives at once a grace and / government to genius"
Elizabeth Jane Hunter was around thirteen years old when she stitched this view of New York's second City Hall, one of the most prominent structures of the time. Completed in 1812, the landmark still houses the office of the Mayor of New York and the chambers of its governing City Council. Elizabeth lived with her family on Lispenard Street, about ten blocks north of City Hall. She may have worked this sampler, which features a verse extolling the virtues of education, while attending a school in the vicinity of City Hall. Her father was an Inspector of Customs with offices near the busy shipping center of lower Manhattan. Elizabeth's view of City Hall may have been based on this illustration of the building, which appeared as the frontispiece of the "New York Mirror and Ladies' Literary Gazette," published in 1824 just steps from City Hall.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.