Needlework coat of arms, embroidered hatchment
Member of the Hall or Fitch family
Boston, Massachusetts; 1730-40
Silk, metallic thread
Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1958.1524ab

This embroidered coat of arms is one of many worked by young women throughout New England from the late 1740s to the 1790s. Girls from families on both sides of the American Revolution stitched these elaborate odes to genealogy and gentility. Theories abound as to why citizens of the new Republic would choose to depict images tied to English aristocracy far beyond the Revolution. At least four members of the extended Hall or Fitch families might have stitched this piece under the tutelage of Elizabeth Murray, Jannette Day, or Ame and Elizabeth Cuming, who took over Day’s school in 1768.