Early American Queen Stitch Needlework Pocketbook
  • This is one of three American needlework pocketbooks that came out of a house in Massachusetts. Each of the wallet or pocketbooks beautifully represents a different decade of our history. This one is a very desirable needlework pocketbook decorated with Queen Stitch. Queen Stitch is an early composite stitch which takes a lot of time to complete. While it first shows up in 17th century English band samplers and is allegedly named for Mary Queen of Scots, this stitch was very popular in America in the 18th century when young women used it to decorate pocketbooks, pincushions and pinballs. It also shows up in early American samplers, such as some samplers from the Mary (Polly) Balch school (1785–1797) in Providence, Rhode Island It takes a long time to complete a piece with its diamond shaped counted thread design so we can assume that loved ones for whom these pocketbooks were made with great love and care.

    The gorgeous pocketbook is worked on canvas with Queen Stitch creating the overall design in greens, peaches, greys, browns, yellows and oranges. When the wallet is opened one sees that it was made for J. Alsop in 1814. The Alsop family has been important to New England history since John Alsop migrated to the Puritan Great Migration in the early 17th century. While this wallet was surely created for a descendent, it is lovely to know that the family that held this pocketbook for 3 centuries holds such history.

    Linen lines the pocketbook which has a single pocket. The same linen is used as edging tape. The edging tape shows some wear, including a bit of fabric loss (only the edging tape) and some minor discoloration. The size while closed is 5 7/8” wide x 3 ½” tall. Opened the wallet measures 5 7/8” x 7 ¾”. A really special piece of history. Circa 1814 (per stitched date).

    #7145    Sale Pending