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Quilted Petticoat

Origin: America, Connecticut
36" H; circumference 130 1/2" Textile widths: face fabric about 39" selvage to selvage; lining about 28 1/2" selvage to selvage. Border Design Areas: 18-21 Silk Backstitches per inch Upper Portion: 18-21 Silk Backstitches per inch
Silk, plain weave (Face Fabric); Wool Twill (Backing); Wool Fiber (Batting); Silk Threads (Construction and Quilting); Silk Tape (Edging); Waistband (Cotton)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1952-19
Pale yellow silk quilted petticoat with a diamond pattern at top and wide lower borders consisting of upper undulating band enclosing signature, date, fish, and animals and a lower border with floral vines, animals and birds, male and female human figures, and coat of arms. The words "Abigail Trowbridg 1750" are quilted into the upper undulating band. The coat of arms in the lower border is an adaptation of the English royal arms, consisting of a crowned circle with three fleurs-de-lys or plumes in each quarter, "honi soit qui mal y pens" on the encircling band, and lion and unicorn supporters. This phrase is the motto of the Order of the Garter and translates to "Shame on him who thinks ill of it". Backed with yellow glazed worsted twill; woolen batting. Hem binding of yellow silk tape. Wide yellow waistband is replaced.

Construction History:
1. 1750: Initial Construction
2. Unknown Date: Original Waistband replaced with cotton waistband
Made by Abigail Trowbridg
Connecticut, 1750
This amazingly dense design fills the 130-inch circumference. In addition to a modification of the Garter Coat of Arms, the petticoat has motifs possibly traced from a book of animals: a flying dragon, monkey, birds, squirrels, mythological animals, a leopard, and a chase scene with hounds running down a stag. To the right of the center back seam, a man greets a woman holding a fan and wearing a quilted petticoat herself. Dogs, birds, and fish are enclosed in the undulating upper border. Although the petticoat is signed and dated 1750, its maker may never be known because several Abigail Trowbridges were living in Connecticut around the time the quilting was done.
Technical information:
Silk plain-woven face fabric
Wool fiber filling
Worsted wool twill backing
18 to 21 silk backstitches per inch in border design areas; 12 silk running stitches per inch in upper portion
Provenance:Handwritten tag attached: "Sent to Cen. Exh. in Phil. March 1876."
Mark(s):"Abigail Trowbridg 1750" in quilting.