Honeycomb Quilt by
Elizabeth Van Horne Clarkson (1771–1852)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Moore, 1923
I've been indexing hexagon quilts for a while. This post is about one particular design, a quilt that's inspired many copies. The original by Elizabeth Clarkson is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Elizabeth Van Horne Clarkson (1771–1852) by
Thomas Sier Cummings about 1844.
Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This miniature on ivory shows Eliza Clarkson in mourning for her husband who died in 1844. In 1790 Eliza Van Horne married Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson. A family history describes his business in New York City:
"He was a partner of his two brothers, conducting a large foreign trade at the northwest corner of Stone and Mill Streets in New York, owning a number of vessels."
Many of the pieces are carefully cut from
stripes to provide extra detail in the hexagons.
In her catalog of the quilts in the Museum American Quilts and Coverlets, Amelia Peck tells us much about the Clarkson and Van Horne families, who were wealthy and well-connected. Eliza and Thomas had eleven children.
The quilt looks to be about 1830. Her great-granddaughter donated it to the museum.
Ruth Finley pictured the Clarkson quilt in her 1929 book
Old Patchwork Quilts, probably inspiring Bertha Stenge in Chicago to make a copy of similar
Bertha Stenge about 1945,
Collection of the Illinois State Museum.
Mosaic by Gloria Thilking Hood, 1970
My friend Chick taught herself to quilt with her
first quilt inspired by Finley's picture (she's always been ambitious.)
Marguerite Ickis published the original again in black and white in her 1949 Standard Book of Quiltmaking.
Karen H found a copy of the Ickis book and
copied the black and white picture for her Stars in the Loft.
Karen had noticed this one at the Quilt Index
from the West Virginia Project
And I found this on at the Quilt Index in the
collection of the Wenham (Massachusetts) Museum,
made by the Ladies of the Historical Society.
Nellie Snape from Cheshire, England,
must have had a picture. Here's
her version in the collection of the Quilters Guild U.K.
From the Arizona Project and the Quilt Index.
And Xenia Cord sends one more from her inventory.
Maybe from Michigan? Maybe the 1970s.