Lot Number: 280-1 (description taken from Sotheby's catalogue)
LOUISA BRADLEY (1802-1830?) stitched as a gift to her aunt, Phebe Stoddard.
Needlework sampler by Louisa Bradley, Litchfield, Connecticut, circa 1810, worked in silk threads on linen in
herringbone, eyelet and cross-stitches. Inscribed: Phebe Stoddard/Accept this trifle from your niece/Louisa
Bradley/Whose love for thee will never cease/Litchfield. 5 1/2 by 13 1/4 inches.
Sothby's estimate: $8,750 - $11,500 (for lots 280-1, 2, 3) combined with 25% buyer's premium added)
$250 (SPECIAL SALES PRICE - no buyers
(for sampler 280-1 only, pictured above)
(To purchase call 860-388-6809)
Louisa Bradley's simple marking sampler-a modest exercise in alphabet embroidery-is dedicated to her mother's sister,
Phebe, who is beseeched to "accept this trifle." By these words, Louisa's early embroidered endeavor
has become a presentation piece, a rather uncommon but delightful custom.1 Louisa may have received her embroidery
instruction as a day student at Sally Pierce's Academy in Litchfield. This impressive school for girls began in
the dining room of Pierce's house in 1792. By 1803, Pierce was conducting classes in a new building, teaching as
many as 130 young ladies during the span of a year. "The fine accomplishments of music, dancing, singing and
embroidery, of drawing and painting" were retained when the move was made from the smaller school, while classes
in chemistry, astronomy, and botany supplemented history and geography.2 Louisa Bradley was born on July 29, 1802,
to Lucy Stoddard and Joseph Bradley. She married Leonard Kenney in 1819 and is believed to have died on July 28,
1. George C. Woodruff, A Genealogical Register of the Inhabitants of the Town of Litchfield, Connecticut (Hartford,
CT: Hartford Press, 1900),20,208,209.
2. Alain C. White, The History of the Town of Litchfield, Connecticut, 1720-1920 (Litchfield, CT: Litchfield Historical
Society, 1920), 111-114. The influence of Sarah Pierce and her academy may be examined more thoroughly in two books
by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel, Chronicles of a Pioneer Schoolfrom 1792 to 1833 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1903) and More Chronicles of a Pioneer School (New York, NY, 1927).
3. Woodruff, Genealogical Register, 20. See also Family Record Archives, Family History Library of the Church of
jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT. The date of Louisa's death was presented to the library
undocumented by published information.
Exhibited and Literature: LACMA, Martha Platt, pp. 91-92, fig. 38; Mary Ann Goodrich, pp. 89-90, fig. 37; Louisa
Bradley, p. 88, fig 36
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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