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    Sale 2095

    The Collection Of Marguerite And Arthur Riordan, Stonington, Connecticut

    18 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 552

    TWO SILK-AND-WATERCOLOR-ON-SILK NEEDLEWORK MOURNING PICTURES

    WROUGHT BY CLARISSA DOWNS (1786-1857), PROBABLY MRS. ROWSON'S ACADEMY, ROXBURY, MASSACHUSETTS, CIRCA 1805

    Price Realised  

    This lot is offered without a reserve

    TWO SILK-AND-WATERCOLOR-ON-SILK NEEDLEWORK MOURNING PICTURES
    Wrought by Clarissa Downs (1786-1857), Probably Mrs. Rowson's Academy, Roxbury, Massachusetts, Circa 1805
    One inscribed TO THE MEMy OF MR SHUB DOWNES Obit July 3 1790 AE 55 and TO ANNA DOWNES Obit Feby 26 1794 AE 18; the other inscribed SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF MRS LYDIA DOWNES Obit Octr 26 1804 /AE 50 HER PRICE WAS FAR ABOVE RUBIES TRIBUTE OF RESPECT BY HER AFFLICT'D DAUGHT'R CLARISSA DOWNES and LD Obit 1794 AE 4
    18 x 15 5/8 inches (framed), 18½ x 15¾ inches (framed)


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    Clarissa Down(e)s was born in 1786 in Boston, the daughter of Shubael Downs and Lydia Bangs. She appears to have been a student at Mrs. Rowson's Academy in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1805, as cited in Glee Krueger, New England Samplers to 1840 (Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 1978), p. 162. It is probable that she worked these two samplers there, in honor of her father and mother who died in 1790 and 1804, respectively.

    She married Lemuel Grosvenor (1784-1858) of Pomfret, Connecticut around 1808, in Boston. They resided in Pomfret, Connecticut. The talent for needleworking appears to have run in the family, as Clarissa's maternal grandmother was Desire Dillingham (1729-1807), who stitched a Fishing Lady needlework now in a private collection but once exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and illustrated in Gertrude Townsend, "An Introduction to the Study of Eighteenth Century New England Embroidery," Bulletin of The Museum of Fine Arts (April, 1941), pp. 19-26.

    For more information on Mrs. Rowson's Academy, see also Betty Ring, Girlhood Embroidery (New York, 1993), p. 88.

    Special Notice

    This lot is offered without reserve.


    Provenance

    Clarissa Downs Grosvenor (1786-1857)
    Clarissa (Clara) Grosvenor Thompson (1817-1890), daughter
    Charles Otis Thompson (b.1849), son
    Elizabeth Wadsworth Thompson (b. 1892), daughter


    Exhibited

    Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Old Sturbridge Village, Evidence of Accomplishment, 1976.