Saturday, August 7, 2021

Fabulous Chintz Swag


Neva Hart recently posted this chintz quilt on Facebook.
Looks like an 1830-1860 medallion of cut-out-chintz motifs.
The oval just about dead center is furniture panel. Merikay Waldvogel
recognized it right away as #6 in her list of these English imported panels.

The panel with its corners designed for a chair seat perhaps.

The panel is upside down in the picture
The quilt was offered at a 1995 Sotheby auction.

Here it is right side up surrounded by bouquets cut from

A red floral strip separates the center field from the border....

an impressive floral swag cut from yardage.

The swag is familiar to fans of the quilts attributed to Achsah
Goodwin Wilkins of Baltimore, pictured in William Dunton's 1946 book
Old Quilts.

These appliqued chintz spreads follow a formula
giving the impression that they were made in some kind of
a workshop.

Here's one Dr. Dunton shows that doesn't follow the formula.
In the collection of Miss Helen H. Carey.

Stella Rubin's inventory includes a
a crib-size quilt with a repeat of three of the swags.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art owns this spread with a border of Chinoiserie figures. Four swags make up the center. Cora Ginsburg's family donated the piece with very little information. I'd bet on a Baltimore origin.

That fern seems to be an important part of the swag fabric.

The fern is often connected to a spray of wild roses, which
may be how it was printed.
Do note that blue background here in Stella's quilt.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The ferns are gathered in a blue bowknot.

National Museum of American History Smithsonian

This fern without the swag is in an unfinished piece attributed to Mary Gorsuch Jessop (1767-1832), who lived northeast of Cockeysville, Maryland close to Baltimore.

The center panel is the familiar John Hewson vase surrounded by
birds from his Philadelphia printworks.

An ivory miniature from Mary's FindaGrave site

In this one from an online auction the seamstress trimmed the roses
and left the bowknots.

Here's both swag and fern as corners in a pieced star quilt from Debby Cooney's collection.

The star above offers a good clue to how the swag and fern was

UPDATE: Terry Terrell posted a photo of this 20th-century reproduction.
We see the whole thing.

We can see that the Carey quilt from Dr. Dunton uses a strip cut
right from the yardage.

The quilt from the Deyerle auction rearranges it flipping the
fern over.

I would guess that Neva Hart is interested in finding this quilt today because the Deyerles lived in Harrisonburg, Virginia, home of the Virginia Quilt Museum. I'd guess they were collectors with
no family connection to the maker, but I may be wrong. I hope Neva finds it. We'd love to see it when we are in Harrisonburg for the American Quilt Study Group seminar next week.

1 comment:

  1. So it looks like sometimes the swags etc were cut out and appliqued on? Wow what a lot of work! I also see that they could be blocks cut from a roll of fabric. All very detailed!