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Stephen & Carol Huber: 17th - 19th Century Needlework

Boston tent stitch - Huber

Boston, MA c.1780 or c.1760

Abigail Thompson or Abigail Waters worked this canvas work picture entitled, “The Garden of Eden, or The Millennium”, most likely picturing herself playing a lute in a pastoral landscape. Painted faces are rarely found on canvas work pictures, however, it is known that John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart and other Boston artists painted faces on this type of needlework.

Bucolic scenes were popular in England in the early 18th century and in Boston by the mid-century. They were also worked in Norwich, CT, but did not gain the same popularity in other colonies.

Abigail Thompson was born June 24, 1763 in Boston, the daughter of James Thompson (?-1779) and Abigail Waters. She married Daniel Oliver on October 30, 1787, in Boston and died in 1844. Note: Family tradition has attributed this needlework picture to Abigail Thompson but the dress, hair style, and the period of time this type of needlework was popular indicates that her mother, Abigail, Waters was the likely stitcher.

Wool, silk, mica, and paint on linen: 17 ¼” x 19 3/8” sight.


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