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Baltimore Appliqued Album Quilt

1846 (dated)
Origin: America, Maryland, Baltimore
OH 103 1/2" x OW 104" (262 x 264 cm)
Plain and printed cottons, with silk and cotton embroidery threads, wool braid, and ink (fibers identified by microscope)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2009.609.3
This is a Baltimore album quilt with a chintz border and inked names and inscriptions. It is dated 1846. The square quilt is constructed of 36 appliquéd blocks bordered on all four sides with a roller-printed floral-pattern chintz with pin-dot shading. The chintz border is about eleven inches wide. Appliquéd block designs include flowers, wreaths, baskets, scrolled medallions, birds, hearts, and Odd Fellows motifs in red, green, yellow, and pink on white ground. Some of the motifs are worked in reverse appliqué and layered appliqué. Silk embroidery threads are used for embellishment in the "all seeing eye", beehive, and bird's eye. Some appliquéd motifs (birds and flowers) are stuffed for added dimension. The bedcover is quilted with running stitches (nine per inch) primarily in parallel diagonal lines with a few areas of contour quilting around appliquéd motifs. The white cotton backing is brought to the front to from a narrow edge finish. Most of the appliquéd blocks have stamped, inked, or cross-stitched signatures. See inscriptions.
Label:The center of this quilt was made from thirty-six individually appliquéd blocks, most of which are signed and dated by one of at least twenty-six women. One block is marked "Baltimore" and several others refer to "Friendship." The inscriptions were stamped, inked, or cross-stitched. The bedcover was quilted primarily in parallel diagonal lines with a few areas of contour quilting around the applied motifs in nine running stitches per inch.

Several of the blocks feature imagery associated with The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a benevolent and social society founded in Baltimore in 1819. One block near the top center includes the image of the "all seeing eye" representing the omniscience of God, as well as other symbols of the Odd Fellows including the three links of Friendship, Love and Truth. Seen within another block near the lower center of the quilt is a heart within an open hand representing sincerity. The beehive, hourglass, globe, bow and arrows, crescent moon, and serpent are other symbols that appear in Odd Fellows imagery.

Although six of the women who signed this quilt have been identified in the 1850 Baltimore Census as living in Ward 7 of Baltimore, the purpose for their project, its relationship, if any, to the Odd Fellows, and its intended recipient is not yet known. Interestingly, Thomas Wildey, who is credited with establishing the first American lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Baltimore in 1819, is listed in the 1860 Baltimore Census as living in nearby Ward 5.
Provenance:No provenance beyond vendor's ownership is known.
Inscription(s):Row 1, blocks from left to right:
1. E. Conaway
2. M. G[?] Pascal
3. C. R. LaRley
4. Miss Rebecca Taylor
5. P. H. A.
6. Ann Carmine/Baltimore 1846/ God in Sase [?]/ true lovee[sic]/ and peace.

Row 2, left to right:
7. No signature
8. A. M. Yance/ 1846
9. Ann Delia Y[?]ift
10. No signature
11. Georgina Eltonhedos/ [birds holding banner] Friendship
12. C. A. Nice

Row 3, left to right:
13. No Signature
14. No Signature
15. Illegible
16. S. Callender
17. No Signature
18. No Signature

Row 4, left to right:
19. E. F. Thomas
20. Mary Ann Laffaty/ 1846
21. A. E. Sameny/ 1846
22. Maroelleaner Personet/ 1846
23. L. M. Willis
24. No Signature

Row 5, left to right:
25. Rose Ann Dunn
26. Margarett A. Mullett
27. No Signature
28: Friendship. Love. And. Truth./ In God we put our trust/ Sarah A. Deluhay/ 1846
29. Sarah Duluhay/ Bultmor/ March 1846/ Remember thy creator [?]
30. No Signature

Row 6, left to right:
31. Laura J. Decker. 1846
32. [Two birds holding banner] Friendship/ Augusta Camp 1846
33. G. Louisa Wise
34. Sopia Nice, Balti [?]
35. Nanisey Hol[?]
36. M. S. Phillips