COLLECTION: Textiles

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Valance for bed, indigo resist

1750-1770
Origin: Textile England, used in Albany, New York
12" X 64 1/2"
Cotton
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1954-173,3
Bed valance with straight top and curved shaped bottom edge with projecting rounded ears on both ends. The textile is patterned by means of indigo resist, also called a "paste print," in a design of undulating stems with large leaves and sunflowers, done in two shades of blue on white ground. The valance is bound on all edges with resist-dyed textile cut and manipulated by gathering and folding to form an edging. The edging is printed in an undulating vine pattern.
Label:Most fashionable beds of the eighteenth century were enclosed by curtains and topped by narrow valances that formed a decorative heading and hid the curtain hardware. This valance was part of a bed set consisting of curtains to fully enclose the bedstead, topped by decorative valances. The set was used in the Quackenbush family of Albany, New York.

It was especially fashionable to trim curtains and valances with printed edgings that coordinated in color but differed in design scale, for a pattern-on-pattern effect. This valance is trimmed with a small-scale coordinating printed textile.
Provenance:According to Mr. Sussel, these textiles "came from the Quackenbush family of Albany, New York, descendants of John Adams and also the van Pelt family of New York." (Letter to Colonial Williamsburg curator John Graham dated 3/25/1954).