Appliqued Quilt Square
Origin: Beech Island, South Carolina
Plain and printed cottons
Gift of Ms. Jane Miller Wright.
Acc. No. 2002-73,1
This is a quilt block or square (one of 25) worked in the "Broiderie Perse style", appliqued with chintz fabric in a design of a floral bouquet of peonies, chrysanthemums and various other flowers and leaves arranged in a horizontal bowl. There are two butterflies fluttering over the arrangement. The colors are predominately reds, greens and cream with some blue and brown. The square is hemmed.
Label:This is one of twenty-five quilt blocks, which were cut out and appliquéd from floral and bird printed cottons and intended to be a finished album quilt. The edges of the appliquéd motifs were turned to the reverse and slip-stitched in place. Probably made by a group of friends and/or relatives, the squares carry inked dates of 1848, 1849, and 1850 and signatures with the names of men and women from families that were concentrated primarily in Aiken County, South Carolina, and Richmond County, Georgia, located adjacent to each other on the state border. Place names include “B. Island” (probably Beech Island, South Carolina), “Augusta, Ga.,” “Milledgeville, Georgia,” and “Charleston, South Car.” The exact relationships among all the signers of the quilt squares are unknown, though some are siblings. The squares descended in the Clarke family.
Provenance:This is one of twenty-five quilt squares probably intended, if completed, as an album quilt for Mary B. Clarke before her marriage to David H. Porter in 1855. According to her great-granddaughter, Mary was the daughter of Samuel Clarke and the sister of Caroline and Sarah Clarke, whose names appear on the quilt squares. The quilt squares along with a casket engraved “Daisy” descended through the family line of Mary’s daughter Jane (b. ca. 1861). Daisy (b. ca. 1866) was one of Jane’s younger sisters. The squares descended in the Clarke family until they were given to Colonial Williamsburg in 2002.
Mark(s):Penciled on back of square is the number "12".