Appliquéd Chintzwork Quilt
Origin: America, Georgia and South Carolina, Savannah, Macon, Charleston
Plain and printed cottons
Museum Purchase with gift funds from Linda R. Baumgarten
Acc. No. 2018.609.13
This is a large square appliquéd chintzwork quilt consisting of 25 blocks set on point with 16 half blocks (triangles) on the sides. Twelve of these triangles are full half blocks, while the four triangles on the corners are smaller. Each full square is approximately 14" by 14 3/4". The blocks are appliquéd with wreath and floral designs and divided by a printed blue and tan floral cotton sashing that is 3-3 1/2 inches wide. Most of the blocks are signed and include the dates 1845, 1846, and 1847 and places names of Charleston, Macon, and Savannah. The signatures on the blocks are listed in "Inscription(s)" and "Signed." Some of the blocks are signed in ink, and others feature stamped names. The quilt is lined in a plain cotton backing that has been brought to the front to form an edge. It is quilted in patterns of clam shell and wave, 11 running stitches per inch. It is signed in ink on the back at the left top edge "Mrs. H.F. Lowe."
Label:This quilt, featuring 37 signatures of individuals in Savannah and Macon, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, was likely made to celebrate the marriage of Jane Elizabeth Ihly and James Ralph Smith on November 16th, 1847 in Savannah. Family members and friends of both James and Jane Elizabeth made blocks for the quilt and signed their work so that the betrothed couple could remember them in their new married life. The blocks, from so many different individuals, are unified by blue and tan floral sashing, which remains bright more than 150 years later.
Provenance:The former owner purchased the quilt about 8 years ago from a woman who was from Georgia. The quilt had been past down in her family as a wedding quilt. She did not know any signers on the quilt and was just interested in selling it. (email message from former owner to curator, 3/26/2019)
This quilt was said to have been passed down as a wedding quilt. Determining the identities of these makers and their connections to each other makes this provenance clearer. This quilt was likely made to commemorate the marriage of Jane Elizabeth Ilhy and James Ralph Smith on November 16th, 1847 in Savannah, Georgia. The quilt signatures, dating from 1845 to 1847, point to this. Additionally, many of these makers can be connected to each other via Ihly and Smith. The bottom two corner blocks show signatures from "Mary Ann Ihly" and "Elizabeth Ihly." It is likely that "Elizabeth Ihly" is Jane Elizabeth Ihly, and that she went by her middle name. The Remshart family was connected to the Ihly family via Benjamin Snider, Jane Elizabeth's uncle, who was friends and coworkers with William Remshart. The Remsharts who contributed to this quilt were a mother and two daughters: Jane Bryan Remshart, Ann Elizabeth Remshart May, and Amanda Jane Remshart. Jane Elizabeth's grandfather, Benjamin Gnann, also contributed to the quilt.
The quilt contributors with last names Lebby and Aldrich are connected to James Ralph Smith, the groom. Anna E. Smith Lebby was James Ralph Smith's sister. The Aldrichs, Sarah, Julia C., and Elizabeth, were cousins of the Smiths.
One family group is connected to each other but not to the betrothed pair -- this requires more research. Jane H. Petsch, a contributor to the quilt, is the mother of Alexander Howard Petsch and Julius D. Petsch. Alexander Howard Petsch married first Emma E. Knight and then Margaret Nungazer. Emma E. Knight was a contributor to the quilt. Margaret Nungazer was the sister of Maria E. Nungazer, who also contributed to the quilt. Julius D. Petsch was married to Elizabeth Ann Petsch, who also signed a quilt block.
There are individuals who signed the quilt who can be identified, but who cannot be connected to other individuals who helped make the quilt. Perhaps they were friends or attended the same church. These connections warrant further research. They are Lou Goodall, Anna Quantock, Eliza K. Godfrey, and mother-daughter pair Esther Millen Olcott and Mary Olcott.
Row 1: "Lydia Q[?]"
Row 2: "Anna Quantock/1847"
Row 3: "Benjamin Gnann/1847"
Row 4: "Ann E. Remshart/1847"
Row 5: "Mary Ann Ihly/1847"
Row 1: "Mary King/Savannah 1847"
Row 2: "Louisa B[or?]hart/1847"
Row 3: "Anna E. Lebby"
Row 4: "Lou Goodall/Savannah/1847"
Row 5: "Elizabeth [?]/Savannah 1847"
Row 1: "La[?]a B[?] of/Savannah 1847"
Row 2: "Emma E. Knight"
Row 3: "Eliza K. Godfrey"
Row 4: "I. A. Snider"
Row 1: "Jane Remshart/1847"
Row 2: "Maria E. Nungazer/1847"
Row 3: "[?]/Charleston/1847"
Row 4: "Mary Ann"
Row 5: "Sarah A. Williford/Macon"
Row 1: "Emily White/Savannah/1847"
Row 2: "Jane H. Petsch/Charleston 1847"
Row 3: "M.J. Johnson"
Row 4: "Julia C. Aldrich/Charleston 1847"
Row 1: [blank]
Row 2: "[Jane S. or James?] Rumsworth/Nov. 15th, 1845"
Row 3: "Sarah Aldrich/Savannah/1847"
Row 4: "Mrs. [Elizabeth] Ann Petsch/Charleston 1846"
Row 5: "Elizabeth Aldrich"
Row 1: "Mary Magdaline/Savannah 1847"
Row 2: "Amanda J. Remshart/February 23, 1847"
Row 3: "Jane Themes/Savannah"
Row 4: "Esther M. Olcott/March 4, 1847"
Row 1: "Jolene Snider/1847"
Row 2: "[A.J.?] Snider"
Row 3: "Emma Solf[?]/1847"
Row 4: "Mary Olcott/Savannah/1847"
Row 5: "Elizabeth Ihly/1847"