Sunday, August 18, 2019

Panel #12: MayFlower/Hydrangea

Panel 12 features a compound floral that looks like a hydrangea to us Americans, but it's probably a hawthorne, England's mayflower.


Corner detail even has the mayflower's freckles.

Oak Leaf Hydrangea: similar leaves

See more on mayflowers at Terry Terrell's webpage: Flowers on Chintz

The nosegay is framed by a floral wreath.

And in the corners two different images....

 one corner with the mayflower, trimmed in Philoclea Eve's quilt. 

Quilt attributed to Philoclea Eve
Atlanta History Center

It's difficult to get the oval shapes right in some of these panels as the photos are often taken at an angle. Looking at an entire quilt gives us some idea of the correct shapes. Panel #12 plays a supporting role in several quilts we've been showing that have a variety of small panels. 

Detail of a quilt auctioned at Skinner's.

Smaller panels numbered below:

Note that the small panels are about the same size. It's hard to see that in the individual photos but when you look at this top your realize how consistent they are in size and proportion.

From a South Carolina estate
Collection of Glorian Sipman

Quilt 9
Unfinished top from Historic Columbia (South Carolina)

Collection of the Winterthur Museum
Here are the parts of Panel 12 reconstructed into a vignette to frame Panel#5 and its parts.
Center, frame and corners.

From William Dunton's Old Quilts, 1946

We see a few of Panel 12 inside the large scallops in this Baltimore bedcover from Dunton's book with panel #5, the fruit basket, in the center.

Basted top in two pieces in the style of the Wilkins/Goodwin
family quilts of Baltimore.

And this is what it would look like when finished.
Collection of the DAR Museum
Gift of the Volckening family

Trimmed Panel #12 inside the outer swags.

It's interesting  how many bedcovers with Panel #2 in a starring role have support from #12.

Collection of Rowan Museum, Rowan County, North Carolina
10 small panels (12 & 13)  accenting Panel #2
Quilt attributed to Jane Locke Graham.
The small panels are similar but a close look reveals there are two.

Perhaps this Jane...
Jane Locke Graham Young Carson (1826-1904)
Rowan County, North Carolina

Finally a South Carolina album dated in ink 1855 with a block using the entire panel---center, frame and corners of #12. This gives us a view of how the panel may have been printed with quite a bit of white space around each image.

Collection of the Spartanburg County Historical Association, 
signed by area residents
It's a late addition to the database and now the
latest dated panel quilt at 1855.

So far, we haven't found one photo of Panel #12 in a British quilt.

What Have We Learned From Panel #12

Smaller panels like the Mayflower are most often seen as accents to these two larger panels,
which have much style in common. We'd guess #2 & #5 were printed by the same English mill at the same time and perhaps sold together (marketed to upholsterers?). We have far more American quilts with the fruit basket #5 (right now almost 60) indicating the fruit basket was probably imported in greater quantity than any other chintz panel. 

Philoclea's Quilt
Panel 12 with bits from Panel 5

Were the smaller panels also from the same mill designed and sold as part of a suite of prints?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Panel #4: Round Floral Bouquet

"S.C. Chester District
Sarah M. Wallace

Collection of the Atlanta History Center

The earliest date-inscribed American panel quilt is 1828 with Jane Allen Nesbitt's name on it. See a post here:

Sarah Wallace's, dated a year later, features Panel #4, a round floral with a central bouquet. A white, six-petaled flower catches your eye.

Sarah's quilt was sold at auction a few years ago.

Perhaps made by Sarah Knox Wallace (1803-1901)

Interestingly enough, Sarah Knox Wallace's mother was named Jane Nesbit who married Hugh Knox of the Chester District (Districts in S.C. are like counties) in 1790. This Jane or Janet Nesbit Knox was born in Ireland in the 1760s (d. 1843) and is probably not the Jane Nesbitt whose name is on the quilt. But considering Southern naming patterns there were probably several related Jane Nesbitts in the family.

A third quilt is from the Wallace/Stevenson families of Richburg, Chester District, South Carolina, in the collection of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian. Panel #5 is in the center.

But we digress. Back to Panel #4, which seems to have been printed in a second colorway.

Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Panel 4 in the center and #10 in the corners, all very tan.
They know little about its origins.

The Smithsonian has another quilt with Panel #4

Attributed to Annie Righton Smith, Gift of Patricia Smith Melton

We couldn't find any Annie Righton Smiths but the family may be that of Joseph and Elizabeth Fullerton Righton who had daughters Katherine Fullerton Righton Smith (1799-1843) and Ann Righton (1797-1857). 

The Rightons lived in this house in Charleston, the Righton House.

And interestingly enough Katherine married a man named William
Wallace Smith, born in Scotland in 1793.
The Wallace connection.

We don't know much about this one in a private collection
but it certainly looks like a Carolina quilt.

We've two more quilts with panel #4,  unlikely to
be related to any Wallaces in South Carolina.

This one is in Auckland, New Zealand in the Auckland War Museum where they have a typo in the date. It should read 1825-1850. It's attributed to Ireland.

And the last one: a very British looking with the frames of piecework giving a  textured look with small scale prints and the black panels that are most common in the U.K.

What Have We Learned from Panel #4?

When we began looking at Southern chintz quilts and panel quilts in particular we looked for family connections, figuring that women who were related might have worked together to make similar quilts with the same fabrics. 

1858 Portrait of a family

As we looked closer we realized family had very little relationship to style. Our conclusions now indicate that the chintz tops were probably purchased from workshops so women who didn't even know each other might have passed on similar quilts. However, quilts with this particular, rather unusual panel, may be an exception and knowing a family tree may help in determining the source of the fabric.

Panel #4 was not widely distributed in the United States: Six American quilts in the database. Perhaps some Wallace connection brought a few panels from England to the Carolinas as gifts.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Panel #13: Bouquet with Lily of the Valley

Panel #13 has a lily of the valley over on the left in an
oval (almost round) frame of oak leaves and acorns.

Atlanta History Center quilt
Most of our photos do not show the corners...

which include two red blossoms.

The Charleston Museum has a set of album blocks dated 1853 to 1855,
among them three with the central bouquet trimmed. Two are signed  Boyd. First
initials I or J, middle A or B. 

Collection of the Spartanburg County (SC) Regional Museum

Eight complete panels pieced into a simple composition. The quilting was said to have been done by slaves, a work-sharing story we often find.

Auction Newbury, UK
Four panels, two each of #13 and #15.

All that piecing and those heart appliques certainly look English. In the center
"1804 Mary Anne Radley"
As this date predates the panels we are guessing Mary Anne incorporated
an earlier piece of needlework into her patchwork.

A crib quilt top or just a fragment, top sold out of Vermont. Two
of the lily of the valley panels at the bottom.

Top from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum Collection
Panel 13 is right in the center with Panel 6 in the inner corners.

Notice how cleverly she pieced that border.

Each one of the 80 light triangles is cut from a panel corner and pieced into the border.
Someone had a lot of cabbage: Leftover corners from 20 panels.
Unfortunately, the triangle edges are all on the bias so the top is a little out of square.

Philoclea Casey Eve's quilt at the Atlanta History Center has eleven
copies of panel #13 in the outer border. Five are just the central bouquet;
six include the oak and acorn frame.

Someone used a trimmed bouquet for an album block on the left in this quilt from the Townsend-Pope family at the Edisto Island Museum. The oak leaf circle frames another chintz block in the center lower area.
The frame

We'd guess many chintz applique album blocks were cut from panel fabric but we can't always see the details in photos. Sharon Pinka arranged to have this quilt at AQSG in 2103 when she gave her paper "Lowcountry Chintz: The Townsend/Pope Quilt Legacy," Uncoverings 2013.

Nearly every quilt we have with Panel #13 that  has a reliable information on the source is from the Carolinas.
Quilt attributed to Ann Adeline Orr Parks of Charlotte, North Carolina

This one from a North Carolina family uses a dozen of panel 13 with 28 corners (leftovers from 7 panels) and 20 oak and acorn arcs from the frame (leftovers from 5 panels).

The larger center panel is #2
See more about the Parks quilts here:

Collection: Glorian Sipman
Sold from the Columbia, South Carolina estate of 
Jennie Clarkson Dreher Hazlehurst (1916-2006).
Panel 2 in the center with three supporting designs,
9, 12 and 13

From a Skinner's Auction
We've shown this quilt several times as it has five different panels in it
including a couple of #13 in the outer border at the bottom with #2 in the center.

The seamstress also made interesting use of panel corners.
Those triangular edge pieces look appliqued rather than pieced.

What Can We Learn from Panel #13?

The two quilts above indicate that Panel #13 is about one-fourth the size of the center panel #2. They are so close in coloring and style we wonder if the smaller panels were not sold as a suite to use with the larger. 
Panel 13 on the back, larger Panel 2
on the seat---a virtual chair

When you consider that the panels were used as furniture coverings you wonder if they were not designed for a two-part chair like the Photoshopped furniture above.

And all those corners we've been counting: Could they have been left overs from the upholstery and slip cover business? 
Gibson's Upholstery business from an 18th-century
trade card in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum

British Museum collection, 18th century
"Issac Astley, London,
Maketh and Selleth all sorts of Standing-Beds, Quilts..."
also chairs.

Bedcovers and upholstery, a good combination.