Early and Mid 19th Century Quilts
About 1900, quilts followed the trends set in the 18th century, which were those of bed coverings made for various sized beds. Many of these beds were very large to accommodate large families, and, in wealthy Colonial homes, the coverings were made of expensive imported materials. In the early 1900's, quilts or counterpanes (more akin to today's spreads) often had a central medallion or middle rectangular scene surrounded by frames, possibly patched of colorful printed fabric or of embroidered linen, cotton, chintz or silk.
Embroidery continued to be popular as Broderie Perse was employed. This was a technique where forms were cut from chintz and appliqued on a base, usually white. As a sort of continuation of this technique, in 1845 to 1855, Baltimore Album quilts were made as magnificent samplers using fabulous stitching of different elaborate flowers, etc. in squares all across the quilts. Such quilts are still considered valuable treasures.
At the same time, red and green appliques on white backgrounds were popularly and more plentifully made. Their characteristics were fabulous double or triple line quilting plus ingenuous all-over quilting, both floral and graphic. Another distinction in the identification of these quilts is the narrow binding prevalent in this era.
569, Ohio Tulip Applique, about 1850, 69x75, has four signatures in the top. There is tremendous quilting at 8-10 st/in on this piece, probably cooperatively done by the four people who left their signatures on each side (safety pins with ribbon). The quilting patterns, some double and triple rodding, are varied and fun to find. The applique stitches are expertly tiny. The Turkey red is fading a bit, and the over dyed green is yellowish on the top, but has turned blue on portions of one side of the binding. The thin binding is slightly worn. This is very clean and is an excellent example of the workmanship of the mid-19th century. $800
597 Whig Rose applique, 88x101, ca 1870. There are nine whig rose blocks, three 10-inch borders and one 7-inch border of roses on v-shaped vines. On the border the quilting is about 1/2 in. apart at 6-7 st/in "v's". The body of the quilt is quilted in contours and arcs. The green leaves and petals are interesting 1860's prints. The yellow centers have popped or are popping as can be seen in the last photo. The binding was worn, so I removed it and fashioned the inner part into a new binding, reapplying it by hand, That's Ok, it only took me several months!, but now the quilt is all original material, except for the thread. The original thread was gray-tan, 6-ply, with 3 twists to the left. This was manufactured after 1860. There is one small brown spot on the top, otherwise the quilt is in fine condition. If you are a collector of old quilts, this is a classic and colorful one to have. $850
706 Carolina Lily or Tulip, 65x79, mid 19th century, from Stark Brothers Nurseries in Hannibal, MO. The lilies are red with green print leaves. I have seen tulip patterns similar to the Carolina Lilly motif. The lilies are hand appliqued but the stems are machined on. There is double binding in double pink piping and green with yellow print. The lilly blocks are quilted in 9st/in lines 1/4 in apart. Each of the set white blocks is quilted in a different motif: four feathers; one large rose surrounded by roses, leaves and stars; roses on two curving stems; leaves on four curving stems; two leaves and a coxcomb,; and perhaps others. Needless to say the quilting is excellent. The backing is white. The condition is excellent. $1000
613 Caesar's Crown with serpentine sashing, mid 19th century, 80x84. The red, yellow and blue-green floral stripe print gives away the age of this beautiful quilt. The serpentine sashing is appliqued in teeny tiny stitches as are the stylized flowers and leaves. There are two fabrics which are blue-green; one has a small white figure, the other is solid. As can be seen in the photo above, some of the Turkey red is wearing, but it does not detract from the overall effect. The backing is white and the binding is slightly worn Turkey red. Even the double border is hand pieced , of course, as is the binding.The quilting is in double lines and contours at 9-10 st/inch. This fine quilt has a real touch of class. $1350
620, Chained Five-Patch or Irish Chain, mid 19th century, 88x92 . A lovely old quilt with lots of work involved; it's all hand pieced. Green and red prints are used throughout, with white background. The backing is white and comes around to the front to form the binding. There is an inner border of green sawteeth, a 10-inch-wide white middle border and red and white sawteeth on the outer border.The quilting at 7-8 st/in is in double feather wreaths in the white blocks, diagonals and vees within the pattern patches. There is a double sinuous feather wreath in the white border. The black and white polka dots in the red fabric have either popped or are about to pop, the colors are slightly faded, and there is slight foxing on the top.But look at the quilting and the overlall graphic design! A classic of the mid century! $850