QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT


Saturday, December 16, 2017

DWR 4: An Older Design Source?

Wedding Ring

I've been blogging about Wedding Rings & Pickle Dishes, which
seem to have popped up at the same time---late-19th-century in the South.

Pickle Dish
 Mary Pinson, Texas. Arizona Project & the Quilt Index.

Because they seem to have developed about the same time, we cannot
say one is the design source for the other.

So can we pinpoint a design source at all?
Or did all these pieced curves appear at the same time?
Curved piecing was important to late-19th-century quiltmakers, particularly
in the South. Sometimes very intricate curved piecing....

Quilt dated 1879 by Mary Alice Alett. 
North Carolina Project & the Quilt Index

And in particular: pieced arcs.

There's definitely a late-19th-century trend for pieced curved shapes that continued into the 20th century.


Quilt dated 1881 by Sallie Ann Bachman, collection
of Marjorie Childress

Fan quilt dated 1896


However, these patterns can't be the source of the Double Wedding Ring because they seem to be roughly the same age. 1875-1910.

Is there an earlier design with pieced arcs?

How about the Rocky Mountain/New York Beauty?

1880-1910?
From Slotin Auction

Date inscribed 1878

Ususally seen with spiky triangles in the curved arcs, but also with four-sided pieces like
the Double Wedding Ring.

Hedwig Fertsch Buske. LaVaca County, Texas
From the Texas Project & the Quilt Index

From the Bingham Family in Tennessee

Most of these Southern examples are from the last quarter of the 19th century, reflecting that popularity of curved seams, small pieces and spiky points. The fabrics tend to be solids rather than prints and many colors have faded to tans the way the post-1880, synthetically-dyed solids do.

But Rocky Mountain is one pattern that is also seen earlier. 

1840-1870?
From Jeffrey Evans Auction

I have very few date-inscribed examples of 19th-century Rocky Mountain quilts,
but based on fabrics and style here are a few that appear to be 1840-1870. The 
older ones are pieced of prints and some include a large-scale chintz print
as border.

Sold at Bonham's Auction

From Sandra Starley's collection. She thinks about 1870.


The blue is fading here but it's fading more like the natural dye Prussian blue
rather than like the synthetic blue dyes.

From Debby Cooney's collection.

The variation with appliqued sashing often looks to be mid-century.


What do these quilts and a pickle dish or wedding ring have in common besides spiky points (3-sided points or 4-sided points)?

An Arc.


An arc that would fit into other curved shapes nicely.



And that's the end of double wedding ring posts.

1 comment:

Nann said...

I'm only a very amateur quilt historian and not an art historian at all -- perhaps someone has documented this. Does the curved pickle dish/NYB/not-quite-DWR motif turn up in other decorative arts of the period?