COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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Pieced Bolster Cover

ca. 1840
Origin: America, probably Pennsylvania
OH: 17 1/2 in. x OW: 52 in.
Printed cotton
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2018.609.5
This is a rectangular bolster cover of pieced cottons and printed patchwork. The pattern consists of nine patch blocks of small printed designs alternating with one patch blocks of larger florals and printed patchwork. The bolster cover has seams at sides and one end. The open end is hand-hemmed in a 1/8" hem. It is backed with a brown and green floral printed cotton.
Label:Pieced in a pattern known as nine patch, this bolster cover contrasts printed cottons with building blocks of three rows of three squares each. The long, narrow size of this cover indicates that it was used for a bolster, not a simple pillow. Bolster covers from the nineteenth century seldom survive, so this is a rare example that demonstrates how important and popular quilting was for creating and decorating a wide variety of domestic furnishings.
Provenance:Ex. Collection: Pat Nickols; purchased in Pennsylvania by former owner.