Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ubiquitous Chintzes: A Spanish Moss

Connie pointed out this chintz quilt for sale on Etsy,
advertised as from the 1830s.

There's certainly nothing in there that looks later than 1840
and some of those prints look 1820 or so.

The background caught my eye as I have a file
of quilts with the same print.

The floral print used in background and border
still shows its glaze. The figures are a floral like a rose or a ranunculus
with a mossy plant and a fancy machine ground of a crackle print or ice print.

I looked it up on Flowers on Chintz but didn't see it.

The way it hangs from the branches I think of Spanish moss
but I know I, as a floral illiterate, am wrong, wrong, wrong.
(Until corrected it's Spanish moss to me.)

From the Winterthur Museum collection.
They have at least two pieces and describe it as roller printed.

It's another one of those prints that seems to have been imported in large supply
in the 1820s and '30s. Several museums have quilts that look to be from the 1830s
with a good deal of the print.

Collection of the Hunterdon County (New Jersey) Museum. From the New Jersey
project & the Quilt Index.

From the James Collection at the International Quilt Museum

I don't know the source on this Goose Chase with the cut out corners.

Below a similar idea from Patricia Smith's collection at the Smithsonian.

And someone with the first name of Elizabeth included it in a chintz applique block, probably from the 1840s, in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

It's always surprising how common some imported fabrics were in American quilts of the 1820-1850 era. Small country, I guess.

Connie called my attention to the star quilt at the top of the page because it is quilted in a fan pattern. We've been looking at fan quilting on the QuiltHistorySouth Facebook page and hoping to find early dated quilts with that quilting style so typically 20th century. The star quilt is not date-inscribed but it certainly looks before 1850---of course it could have been quilted later.


  1. It is always interesting to see what you find and have to say about it.

  2. I have some of this as a reproduction - always thought it was Rock Rose or Portulaca.

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