Coming to auction this week at Freeman’s in Philadelphia is this colorful embroidered map of Washington, D.C. created by teenager Susanna Wilkinson Atkinson in 1807.
Using silk thread, watercolor, and ink, the fourteen-year-old needle-pointer from Alexandria, Virginia, followed a plan of the city drawn by Pierre Charles L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott and published by James Thackara and John Vallance in 1792. (Seen below courtesy of the Library of Congress.)
According to the auctioneer, this is the fourth-known ‘Plan of the City of Washington’ embroidery. The others are held by Dumbarton House (The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America), Winterthur Museum, and Colonial Williamsburg. Will George Washington University, home to Albert H. Small’s amazing Washingtoniana collection, be the next? The auction estimate is $15,000-25,000.
Top image via Freeman’s.
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Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry, author