American Sampler by Caroline Goulding, Hopkinton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, circa 1821

A praiseworthy sampler with a wonderfully pictorial quality, this was made by Caroline Goulding, an eleven-year-old from Hopkinton, a town about 30 miles west of Boston. She stitched a two-chimney, mustard-colored house, with details like a fanlight above the front door which sports a door knocker set on a lawn between leafy trees and little birds under a beautiful sweeping arc of blue sky. Alphabets and a rendition of a verse on Friendship that was written by famed English poet, Isaac Watts in 1702 and Caroline’s inscription are all surrounded by a detailed inner border and then a nicely arcaded outer border of strawberries growing on leafy sprigs. The overall effect is highly appealing.

Born on December 3, 1810, Caroline was the daughter of John and Ruth (Chamberlain) Goulding of Hopkinton. Reminiscences of Worcester From the Earliest Period, Historical and Genealogical by Caleb A. Wall (Worcester, Mass, 1877) publishes much information about the Goulding family in that area, beginning with Capt. Palmer Goulding who settled there circa 1718, having removed from Boston. The family was a prominent one, serving in the French and Indian Wars and the Revolutionary War. Capt. Palmer Goulding was the great grandfather of the maker of this sampler. The vital records of Hopkinton include the birth, marriage and death records of the Goulding family.

At age 18, on July 27, 1828, Caroline married a bootmaker, Austin Hayward (1806-1877), and they remained in Hopkinton where they had six children. Caroline died on March 30, 1847 and is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery.

The outer edge of the sampler has been stitched incorporating a drawn-work technique that creates an interesting texture. The sampler retains much of its original color as evidenced by a photo of the reverse of the sampler (image below).

It was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition, now mounted in a beveled cherry frame with a figured maple bead.

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Dealer M. Finkel & Daughter
Date: circa 1821
Origin Hopkinton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Artist/Maker Caroline Goulding
Measurements sampler size: 16¾” x 17” • framed size: 20½” x 20¾”
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Price $5500
Contact Amy Finkel, 215-627-7797 or

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