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Pieced and Appliquéd Quilt

ca. 1845
Origin: America, Virginia, Halifax County or Richmond
OH 115" x OW 111" (292 x 282 cm)
Plain, printed, checked, and striped cottons
Gift of Dabney Herndon Harfst Narvaez
Acc. No. 2011.609.1
This large center-medallion appliqued and pieced quilt consists of seventy-three blocks of alternating pieced Le Moyne stars and chintz work appliques of flowers, baskets, birds, and cupids. The edges of the appliques were turned under and slip-stitched in place with great skill in following the outline of the printed elements. The blocks are defined by a 2 1/2 inch sashing of blue printed cotton. The cutout corners of the quilt accommodated the posts of a tall-post bedstead. The quilt is bound in two pattern-woven cotton tapes--a green-and-white check and a green-and-white stripe. The bedcover is backed in plain cotton and quilted in patterns of diagonal lines in the sashing and stars, floral motifs in plain areas, and outline of the applique 9-10 running stitches per inch.

Label:This quilt represents the stylistic transition from chintz work appliquéd quilts in a center framed medallion format to a compartmentalized or album quilt format that was popular with many quilt makers by the mid-1840s. Yet, the skill in the piecing and quilting of the bedcover suggest that it was the work of one maker, and not several, as was the case with many album quilts at this time. The cutout corners of the quilt accommodated the posts of a high post bedstead. The bedcover was backed in plain cotton and quilted in patterns of diagonal lines, floral motifs, and outline in 9 to 10 running stitches per inch.
The quilt descended in the Fitzgerald, Maury, and Bruce families of Virginia and was once owned by Sophie Clapham Bruce Maury (1864-1946), who was born at Berry Hill Plantation located near South Boston in Halifax County, Virginia.
Provenance:Made by female member of the Bruce family;
Obtained by Sophie Clapham Bruce Maury (1864-1946) of Berry Hill;
By descent to her goddaughter and first cousin through marriage, Elie Maury Werth Fitzgerald of Richmond, VA;
By descent to daughter, Alice Flournoy Fitzgeral Harfst of Richmond, VA;
By descent to her daughter, Dabney Harfst Narvaez of Chapel Hill, NC.