COLLECTION: Textiles

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Table cover for library

1875-1910
Origin: Germantown, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
50 1/2" square
Multicolor twill and plain-woven wool, silk velvet, silk embroidery threads, beads (for insect eyes), blue cotton backing
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2004.609.1
Square library table cover, pieced and appliquéd using thin wool textiles and velvets in bright multicolors of red, green, blue, lavender, gray, and cream with black, further decorated with embroidery in buttonhole, herringbone, and feather stitches. The overall design is organized symmetrically around center diamonds that are pieced and set on points within square pieced borders and a scalloped outer border. Appliquéd motifs consist of scrolls, leaves, hearts, stars, moons, circles, cactus-like shapes, and butterflies that are appliquéd to the pieced ground using contrasting multicolor silk buttonhole and herringbone stitches. Joins of the pieced textiles and some solid areas are further embellished with feather and herringbone stitches. The initial S, probably for the maker, Miss Simon, is appliquéd at the center of the outer border. The table cover is backed with glazed blue-green cotton and later black cotton.
Label:This library table cover is an attractive and unusual textile from the late-nineteenth-century era that produced "crazy quilts," although this example is organized in a more symmetrical manner.
Provenance:Given to Kate Godwin (ca. 1860-April 5, 1940) by an unmarried Germantown, PA, neighbor named Miss Simon (dates unknown, but died probably around 1900). The table cover was given to Kate Godwin to thank her for doing favors and bringing food to Miss Simon. The table cover descended to Adah Wilson Godwin and then to Geraldine Godwin Moyer.