MARY C. BALDWIN (NORTH CAROLINA, 1776/7-1836) CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA ATTRIBUTED SILK-EMBROIDERED NEEDLEWORK PICTURE, silk and paint on silk with linen backing, depicting a woman in a flowing blue and white dress with painted head and arms, sitting at a spinning wheel with a spool of thread in her left hand and her right arm resting on the back of a ladderback chair, a scrawny black and white cat sits next to her feet, background featuring a stripped cottage house and a painted sky. Housed under glass in the original frame, backing board with an old hand-written note on paper that reads "Made by Mary Baldwin between the years / 1790-'95 when in school at Charleston, SC." featuring later "(Born 1777)" written below, backing board also has a 20th century pencil inscription in the center that reads "To / Mary Baldwin Grierson / from / Aunt Julia / Given to / Barbara J. Lantz / Sept. 14, 1964 / Mary Baldwin Grierson". Circa 1790. 7" x 9 1/4" oval, 9 1/4" x 11 1/4" OA.
Provenance: From the estate of Josephine Weidman, Cleveland, OH.
Barbara J. Lantz, 9/14/1964.
Descended in the family of Mary C. Baldwin. Julia Elizabeth Stirewalt, North Carolina, to Mary Baldwin Grierson, Essex Co., NJ and Burlington, VT.
Catalogue Note: Mary C. Baldwin was born in 1776/7 to parents Joel Baldwin (1750-1776) and Mary Virginia Hook Baldwin Henderson (1752-1818) of North Carolina. On April 9, 1795, she married Rev. John Robinson (1768-1845), who was the minister of Popular Tent Presbyterian Church for 36 years according to his headstone. They resided in Cabarrus Co., NC and had four children, John W., Thomas Henderson, Mary, and Elizabeth. Mary Baldwin died in 1836 and is buried in Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Concord, Cabarrus Co., NC along with her husband. The previous owner of this needlework picture, Mary Baldwin Grierson (1910-1985), is the great-great granddaughter of her namesake and the maker of this piece. "Aunt Julia" is presumably Julia Elizabeth Stirewalt (1855-1937), Grierson's paternal great aunt. Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) records two needleworks completed by Mary C. Baldwin in a private collection, one being a marking sampler signed by her and dated "1786" (photo no. S-11963) and a silk-embroidered picture of a woman holding a sheaf of wheat (photo no. S-11964).
Very good visual condition with scattered pinholes and small holes to silk, some thread with light fading/fugitive color, possibly one or a few breaks to thread, spots of paint loss, frame with wear and chips to painted finish, glass replaced.