Sarah is a schoolgirl who is exerting her skills for embroidery with pictures extracted from English books. A piece 44 x 62 cm made by her around 1670 is for sale by Skinner in Boston on March 1, lot 30.
The symbolic iconography includes the tree of life, the good shepherd, the animals in paradise, the prodigal son. The house, the sun, the European costumes of the two central characters bring a nice realism to this scene reinterpreted by the wit and imagination of a young girl.
The drawing is accurate and the technique is complex. The embroidery is made of five colors of wool along with silver and gold threads on a greenish-blue wool background. This needle work follows the English tradition of silk embroidery on white satin, but is extremely rare in America: a single similar specimen survives.
Since its creation, the Phillips embroidery has been carefully preserved in the family and was only exhibited twice. The colors remain remarkably vivid. This masterpiece of American popular art is estimated in excess of $ 800K.