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Pieced Silk Diamond and Nine Patch Quilt

Origin: America, New York, Canton or Albany
96 1/4" X 88 3/4" (244 x 225 cm)
Silk and cotton
Gift of Graham and Sally N. Lusk in memory of Eloise Prentice Lusk
Acc. No. 1998.609.1
This is a large rectangular quilt, pieced with squares and triangles of striped, checked, and solid silks in alternating blocks of Diamond and Nine Patch. One square is marked in the quilting "LCP / 1835." The quilt is backed with roller-printed cotton in a floral stripe and bound in a folded one-half-inch green silk. It is quilted with 12 running stitches per inch in geometric, flower and leaf, square, and clamshell patterns.
Label:The design of this silk quilt consists of alternating blocks known as Diamond and Nine Patch. Diamonds are a shape frequently employed in quilt making. Here, Jemima Prentice has placed a square within each diamond. The fundamental design of Nine Patch consists of three rows of three squares each. It is a popular patch design because once mastered, the quilter can progress to more intricate patterns. This quilt is quilted with running stitches in geometric, flower and leaf, square, and clamshell patterns. One square is marked in the quilting "LCP 1835"," probably for Jemima Prentice's daughter, Lucy Candace Prentice, who was twenty-one years old in 1835.
Provenance:This quilt with another (1998.609.2) descended through Jemima Parmalee Prentice's family to her great-great-grandson, who donated them to the museum.

History of quilt maker:
Jemima Parmalee Prentice (1773-1865) was a remarkable woman distinguished for her intelligence, order, hospitality, and religion. Born February 23, 1773, in Newport, New Hampshire, to Ezra and Sybil Hill Parmalee, in 1794 she married Sartell Prentice, a merchant in the fur trade. Together they had eight children, two of whom died in childhood. She created quilts throughout most of her life. A small scrap of paper in her handwriting records the astounding number of eighty quilts that she made during her lifetime. Jemima Parmalee Prentice died in Brooklyn on November 19, 1865, at the age of ninety-two. The Reverend Dr. William B. Sprague described her in his funeral sermon as a woman “of great and retentive memory, of a godly life, taken from her Bible; a habit of private devotion that nothing interfered with, useful in life, endeavoring to imitate her divine Master and of strong faith, employing her musical powers on Watts’s hymns, to relieve despondency, and all to God’s glory.”
Inscription(s):"L C P 1835" is quilted into one square.