COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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Quilt, Indian Chintz Panel or Palampore

1770-1790
Origin: India, quilted in Europe
119" H x 112 1/2" W Center Indian panel: OW: 86 1/4"; OH: 109 1/2" 5-6 running stitches per inch
Cotton, silk, linen
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1930-690
Rectangular quilt made of an India chintz panel bordered with greenish-yellow silk on sides and bottom. The central design of a flowering tree rises from a rocky mound and is flanked by several varieties of plants. The border design consists of flower-filled cornucopias in scroll-like repeats. The center panel is mordant painted and resist dyed in red, blue, purple, green, black, yellow, on natural tabby-woven cotton ground; the textile has a glazed finish. The quilting design consists of diamonds in the center field with a border of interlacing "ropes."
Label:A central tree bearing a variety of flowers rises from a rocky mound and is surrounded on three sides by a border of additional flowers and C-scroll stems flowing from cornucopias. Although often considered typically Indian, the flowering tree motif derived from a hybrid of influences, including Chinese, Persian, and European, as well as Indian. Scholars have noted the close relationship between the exotic trees on English crewel embroidery and the flowering branches on chintzes, concluding that an already-established taste in needlework motifs may have influenced the Indian products, rather than the reverse.
The Indian-made mordant-painted and resist-dyed panel, known in the period as a "palampore," was probably originally sized and designed to be a bed curtain. It was later cut down at the top and extended in width to make a bed quilt by the addition of greenish-yellow silk borders. The whole was quilted in a diamond pattern with guilloche borders through cotton batting and coarse cotton backing. The quilting stitches are gold-colored silk thread in the borders and natural linen thread in the chintz areas. The quilting was probably done in Europe, possibly France.

Provenance:Purchased in 1930 from Elinor Merrell, New York, New York.