COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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Woven Tied Beiderwand Coverlet by an unidentified maker

1871
Origin: America
With shirttail hem turned under at top: right side = 78 1/2" without fringe and 80 1/2" with fringe; bottom = 81 3/4" without fringe and 85 3/4" with fringe.
Red, green, and dark blue wools with white cotton; medium blue cotton supplementary thread
Anonymous gift in memory of Suzanne S. Flinn
Acc. No. 1992.609.2
This is a seamless, tied Beiderwand woven coverlet, with self-fringe on sides, applied fringe at the bottom, and a shirttail hem at the top. The centerfield design consists of a lobed medallion in the center on a background of tile-like devices. There are deep borders on all four sides including floral and foliage designs and birds in profile. Within these borders at top and bottom center are, in each case, a basket of flowers. In each of the four corners is a portrait bust of George Washington over a banner with the inscription: WASHING TON." Below banner is an eagle with another banner above a small steamboat. The second banner reads "HAIL/1871." In the center of each side above the border design is a crescent shape.
Label:In the 1860s and 1870s, coverlet designs increasingly featured large central medallions on tile-like fields surrounded by deep borders containing complex, naturalistic pictorial motifs. On this bedcover, the intricately modeled bust portraits of George Washington are examples of these pictorial designs.
Patriotic motifs were especially favored in the early 1870s, when plans for the nation’s upcoming centennial celebrations began to gather momentum. Although the one hundredth anniversary of American independence was reason enough for rejoicing, national leaders also realized its potential for healing the wounds so recently created by civil strife.
Provenance:AARFAM's donor's mother, Suzanne S. Flinn, owned this coverlet, but donor does not know how, when, or from whom she acquired it.
Inscription(s):In each corner on a banner below a bust portrait is "WASHING TON" and below the preceding on a banner in an eagle's beak is "HAIL/1871".