COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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Woven Tied Beiderwand Coverlet, "Lilies and Stars" Pattern and "Bird and Bush'" Border

1836 (dated)
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Elizabethtown
OL: 86" without fringe; 89" with fringe OW: 73" without fringe; 79" with fringe
Warp: Cotton; Weft: Cotton; Supplementary Weft: Wool
Gift of Col. & Mrs. James W. Roy
Acc. No. 1974.609.4
This coverlet is a red, white and blue single woven coverlet, which is made from two pieces of woven fabric that have been stitched together to form a center seam. It was woven in a tied beiderwand construction, which has cream and light blue cotton warp with a thinner cream cotton weft. The coverlet has a wool supplemental weft which is woven in alternating bands of red and blue. The center ground has alternating rows of stars and floral motifs. The central ground is surrounded on three sides by a border of birds and trees, which is surrounded by a border of two rows of six pointed stars. In the lower two corners there is a corner block that reads "ELIZABE/THTOW/N+/S + H 1836." The coverlet has a fringe on three sides. The fringe on the long edges was woven with the piece while the fringe on the bottom edges was woven and then stitched onto a rolled hem. The top edge has a rolled hem.
Label:This red, white, and blue coverlet was woven with the aid of a special loom attachment invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard of Lyon, France. The "Jacquard" mechanism he designed in 1801 enabled weavers to create complex figured and fancy weaving patterns. It could be installed on multi-harnessed looms and was soon used to create patterns and designs of a pictorial nature rather than purely geometric. "Figured and Fancy" coverlets were popular up through the Civil War.
This particular coverlet is woven in the popular "Lilies and Stars" pattern with a "Bird and Bush" border.
Provenance:In a letter dated 4/7/74 the donor states: "Our records indicate that the coverlet was made for Susan Richards, who was the great aunt of Mary Ellen Detweiler the daughter by marriage of Henry Detweiler and Mary Catherine Inley... I would assume that the chances are that Richards was Susan's married name and that prior to marriage she was Susan Inley."
Mark(s):Woven into the two lower corner blocks: "ELIZABE/THTOW/N+/S + H 1836"

A Paper label, sewn to the coverlet, typed, reads as follows: "99 years Old/ This coverlet is made of linen/ and Wool. The flax was raised by/ my greataunt on her farm, and the wool was from her sheep. It was / made at Elizabethtown, Pa., in the/ year 1836. Notice the date woven/ in the two lower corners./Mary D. Quickel/ 123 Pine Street". Below this in pencil appears: "Made by Samuel Hipperd."
Inscription(s):Woven into the corner blocks: "ELIZABE/THTOW/N+/S + H 1836"

A Paper label, sewn to the coverlet, typed, reads as follows: "99 years Old/ This coverlet is made of linen/ and Wool. The flax was raised by/ my greataunt on her farm, and the wool was from her sheep. It was / made at Elizabethtown, Pa., in the/ year 1836. Notice the date woven/ in the two lower corners./Mary D. Quickel/ 123 Pine Street". Below this in pencil appears: "Made by Samuel Hipperd."