COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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White Quilt with Cord Quilted Borders

17th-18th century
Origin: Europe, Portugal (borders)
OL: 84"; OW: 86"
Cotton, linen
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1936-57
White quilt with plain center quilted with linen running stitches in a grid pattern, bordered on three sides with wide borders that are cord quilted in linen running stitches in a pattern of mythological birds and animals, large symmetrical leaf and flowering plant motifs, and columned arches. All the motifs are enclosed within three fancy cable-quilted guard borders.
Label:This white cotton quilt is a marriage of quilts from two different centuries. The center portion has a cotton face, backing, and batting and is quilted in a grid with a guilloche border using linen thread. The wide attached borders were made from different white cotton with a design consisting of a series of arches enclosing unicorns, cavorting animals, oversize birds in trees, and flowering bushes. Unlike the central portion with its overall batting, the borders were decorated in the cord-quilting technique, with no batting between the raised cotton-corded channels. The borders are quilted with linen thread in running stitches.
Salvaged from an earlier quilt, the borders were added to a white calico quilt that almost certainly dates to the eighteenth century. The splicing probably occurred in the nineteenth century. Given the presence of linen stitching threads, the quilting was done in Europe, rather than India, where silk or cotton would have been used.

Provenance:Purchased in 1936 from Elinor Merrell, New York, New York
Mark(s):None found.