Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Honstain Quilt in Context #2: A Doppelganger

Lucinda Ward Honstain quilt
International Quilt Study Center & Museum

I was leafing through a 1975 Quilt Engagement Calendar, the first of 
a great series that published photos of antique quilts for a decade or more.
Editor Cyril Nelson got most of his photos from New York antique dealers.
I stumbled upon this sampler top:

... from the collection of dealer George E. Schoellkopf.

The caption:
Plate "41. Applique quilt top, dated 1867, New England. 88" x 79". 
Photograph George E. Schoellkopf Gallery. (Privately Owned)"

I doubt it's a New England quilt for reasons I showed yesterday.

Red sashing, corner imagery, cats and tulips. Got to be New York.

Wait a minute, it's a twin (fraternal) to Lucinda Honstain's sampler.

The quilt on the left is 84" x 97"
The one on the right 79" wide x 88"

"E B

The unfinished top has cross-stitched initials in many blocks. The pink cat Tom
is dated the same year as Lucinda's: 1867

The cross-stitch is similar to the Honstain quilt dated the same year. Only a few blocks in that
quilt are inscribed.

The Honstain quilt has two cats, one with a little bird cut from a rainbow blue stripe teasing him just like the birds in the quilt top.

Both have a dog and a dog house and a tree.
The blocks on the left maybe a little larger. The images are usually simpler in the top
and the detail not quite so fine.

A sailor. Lucinda Honstain's son-in-law Hamilton Bingham was
a Union sailor in the Civil War.

A Temple of Liberty perhaps

Simpler on the right but the same letters *L I B E R T Y*
over the figure of Miss Liberty in her liberty cap with her liberty pole.

"Jeff Davis & Daughter" on the left. Flag-holding girl on the right.

The imagery in the corners is another clue to a New York quilt.

Fish Fry


IQSCM has two quilts from the Honstain family, the sampler
which has been attributed to Lucinda Ward Honstain and a Tulip quilt
with daughter Emma Honstain Bingham's initials on it. Both feature this tulip or lily
that is a characteristic of New York quilts.

What to make of it?
I'm thinking. More tomorrow.


  1. Younger person in the family?

  2. Why would they put the camel in these quilts? It’s not a local animal, I don’t think!