Friday, August 10, 2018

Primrose Path #1: A Chintz Stripe & A New Fabric Resource

Quilt in collection of Colonial Williamsburg

An intriguing chintz stripe seen in
 several mid-19th-century quilts.

Floral finish to a geometric Irish Chain

From Stella Rubin's inventory

The Victoria and Albert Museum collection includes a swatch showing us the details. The print is directional like a garden border, alternating red flowers with a brown compound bloom. The caption:
"Border of roller and block-printed cotton. The pattern includes a floral design of dahlias. About 1830."
The dahlias must be the large red flowers. We assume this is an English print. All my photos show one colorway, a multicolor print with red and yellow flowers (the yellows could fade it seems) and several brown flowers ---which may have once been purple.


I guessed the multiple florals were English primroses
although my botany is primitive at best.

Knowing my limits, I asked advice from 
Botanist/Quilter Terry Terrell
who sent this photo of an auricula:

"a type of primrose that the English have extensively bred for shows. I believe that it is the primrose we see on most chintzes."

 Auricula  from the 1730 series Furber's Flowers, this arrangement for March

She's absolutely right!

I bet the primroses have faded from purple to brown.

I often ask Terry to help me identify the flowers in chintzes and now you can use her expertise too. Check out the new webpage she and art historian Deborah Kraak have developed to index floral chintzes, cross referencing botany and imagery.

Here's the page on Auricula.

Terry, Deborah and I are pleased to introduce you to their new webpage: Floral Motifs on Early Chintz

Champagne all around!

More tomorrow about  Floral Motifs on Early Chintz, a wonderful reference for textile and botanical historians.

1 comment:

  1. The new website is fantastic. Thanks for the link. I look forward to hopping in on a regular basis.