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Needlework Memorial Picture

Winkler, Matilda Amalia
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
silk on cotton
HOA 26 1/4; WOA 20 1/8
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Embroidered and painted memorial to “C A W/ 1826,” as painted and inked in the urn design; showing a woman and two children in mourning, with willow tree, urn and stand and unusual design framed in a wreath of silk chenille and ribbon, the whole mounted upon a piece of black cotton twill and framed in a black painted wooden frame original to the picture.
PROVENANCE: “C A W” stands for Carl August Winkler, b. 1 Sept. 1808 in Salem, died 3 July 1826, in Salem. Carl August Winkler was the son of Christian and Elisabeth Winkler. The inscription includes the word “brother,” indicating that the work was done by Matilda Amalia Winkler, the only sister old enough to have done the work at the time ( she was born 6 January 1815). She married Jacob Friedrich Siewers on 24 April 1834. Their third child, Margaret, born 25 August 1838, married Christian Thomas Pfohl on 16 November 1865. Their child, John Kenneth Pfohl, born August 13, 1874, was the most recent owner. “In addition to herself, she [Amalia] depicts other family members–her brother Ludwig and her sister Henrietta. It is unusual that the verse on this piece is written in ink on paper and then glued to the black silk. It reads: ‘Slow waves the willow/ O’er the Stone./ That points/where sleeps a brother dear./Oft have I sought/ the spot alone/ To shed at ease/the solitary tear.’ The crepe wreath and the dainty crepe flower garland on the urn are typically Moravian. Again a variety of stitches are used to produce dimensional shading, and most of the upper portionof the picture is filled with weeping willow branches. The heads,hands, and the portion of the background not filled by needlework are painted.” (Welshimer in Welshimer and Bivins page 57.)