Monday, February 11, 2019

Panel #39: Blue Ribbon (& #38)

Panel #39 in an appliqued bedcover dated 1812 with initials E.I.,
Gawthorpe Hall Textiles Collection,
Lancashire, England

One of the earliest date-inscribed uses of multicolor chintz panels
in a quilt made in Great Britain. 
The quilt is 98” x 111" and includes two panels.

The panel is octagonal, a bouquet of flowers tied with a blue ribbon and framed in a triple border of diamonds and leaves with blue lozenge shapes in the angles. 

The border might have been drawn from a Georgian silver platter.

It's a pretty design, wood-block printed in full chintz style. Were the browns always brown? Hard to say. Could have been purple.

We have five quilts with the panel, all British frame quilts with a central focus and a sixth one that is probably British.

Collection of Cindy Vermilion Hamilton
Probably British

Cindy's bedcover features panel #1 in the center, bordered with birds and then half and
quarters of Panel #39

The blue bowknot at the bottom of the bouquet is a visual clue that the center panel
in this quilt in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum is #39.
Little is known about this bedcover. 

Four of the octagonal panels rotate around the center bird panel in 
this piece auctioned by Kerry Taylor in London.

The long-necked bird panel (# 11) is usually seen in American quilts, but this quilt
by style and location is obviously British.

Below: Panel 39 rotates around a center focus panel (# ) at the top half of this medallion. The quilt was documented in the Prince Edward Island project and featured in their book by Sherrie Davidson. The story passed on with it is that it was stitched for an 1810 wedding that never took place.

Prince Edward Island is in Canada, north of Maine and Nova Scotia---British America.

The family date is consistent with the date on the quilt at the top of the page here.

Another British Empire quilt with Panel #39

Spread attributed to Mary Moxey of Williamtown, New South Wales, 
Australia. National Trust (NSW) Collection

The cross-stitch inscription on the left:
"Mary Moxey. 1818"
On the right:
"Emma Tremlett Born Decr 16th 1837"

Did Mary Moxey make this piece in 1818 in England and dedicate it to young Emma years later in Australia?

The frame is related to the Wellington/Vittoria panel celebrating the Duke of Wellington's 1813 British victory in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Note the dark center on the Wellington panel.
We don't often see the dark-centered designs used in American quilts. And this victory panel would have been quite unpopular with Americans in 1813 who were at war with the British.
What Can We Learn From Panel #39? 

Center of a hexagon quilt in the collection of the International
Quilt Study Center and Museum #1997-007-0341 with Panel #22

As we continue to sort out the panels and the quilts we see a difference in taste in the U.S. and the U.K. Americans tended to use the white ground panels. Britons also used the white panels but we have found more dark ground designs in Great Britain.


It's not a fool-proof clue to location, but when we see a dark
ground panel we guess the quilt is from Great Britain.

Kerry Taylor auction in England, 2012

Another regional clue is the panel's frame style. Like Panel #39 panel #38 in the crib quilt above is framed with what looks like the edge of a silver platter. Circular beads imitate embossed metal work---an elegant look. 

The blue ovals might be jewels.

We only have two quilts with the oval Panel #38.

The other piece with Panel #38 is attributed to Marianna Lloyd Button,
thought to have been made in England and brought to Tasmania
in 1833...

...shown in Making the Australian Quilt

Here's a panel with both style characteristics---dark ground and embossed frame style--- 
in a British bedcover in the collection of the International
Quilt Study Center and Museum.

IQSC #2007-014-0001 is thought to have been made in Allendale, England.

More examples of  colored-ground panels and the platter-like frames later.

My calendar from the Metropolitan Museum shows this French Sevres Drop Front Desk from the 18th century. Certainly gives us insight as to where blue ribbons and roses come from.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Panels/Not Panels

Panel #1

What exactly are we discussing here at Chintz Panel Quilts? We have a definition we agree upon and we thought we'd clarify it by explaining what we are NOT gathering information on.

One of our first definitions is "chintz"---a multicolored print.

Panel #3
Trophy of Arms

Many of the panels we find are printed in what was called full chintz or whole chintz style with 
pink, red, blue, green, orange, yellow, brown and purple on a white ground. The purples might fade to brown; the greens to blue.

Others like Panel #13 are more limited in color.
Was the blue ever green? The brown ever purple?
Probably not.

Textile meaning changes over the years and today chintz generally means a multi-colored, large-scale furnishing-style print. The surface glaze is a side factor. Since that glaze disappears with washing and wear we don't consider it in our definition.

A toile about how toiles are printed, by Jean Baptiste Huet (1745-1811)

Multi-color chintzes are different from toiles, which today tends to mean a monochrome furnishing print with figures drawn in lines rather than shapes of color. Toiles originally were printed with large copper plates but by 1800 printers were experimenting with faster, simpler copper cylinders. It's a look rather than a process that defines toiles today.

Toile-style monochrome fruit basket print with
a short repeat indicating it was printed by roller rather
than plate.

We are NOT filing information on quilts with toiles. It's a bigger category and toile style bedcoverings go back earlier than chintz panel quilts.

The basket print above shows another style we do not keep track of here---yardage of continuous
images---NOT meant as decorating panels. Quilters may have cut the baskets out of this repeat design to use with Broderie-Perse style applique but we have never given this yardage a number. We need to keep the definition narrow because there is an enormous potential pool of clever seamstresses cutting panel-like applique from yardage.

A fashion for rococo scrolls offers many possibilities for fussy cutting.

Portuguese stripe from the Cooper-Hewitt collection
And then there are the Portuguese stripes with animals and urns.
Not going there either.

Some prints are on the fuzzy edges of our definition.
We are going to give this one a number and collect
examples of quilts where the wreaths are found.

A snapshot of a length of yardage featuring Panel #32.  We don't have many photos of the repeats
but we believe this is how most of our panels were printed, meant to be cut and isolated rather than
used as yardage.

Medallion quilt, 72" x 60", About 1820.
Collected by Sally Casey Thayer about 100 years ago.
Collection of the Spencer Museum of Art

One style of  panel-like textiles is single-color kerchiefs such as the one featured in this
small quilt possibly made for a child.

Years ago a curator at Spencer wrote to Florence Montgomery and asked for her opinion about this quilt. She was kind enough to answer (Barbara volunteers there) that the panel was a child's teaching handkerchief or bandana offering several moral lessons.

Here's the same handkerchief in red from the collection of
the Textile Museum of Canada.

Images include activities for good boys and bad boys like "Going to Church" and "Getting their Tasks" or "Idling with their Kite" and "Playing at Shufle Cap," 

Many handkerchiefs with pious advice were printed in the early 19th century. We hope someone, somewhere is giving each textile a number and filing every photo of the kerchief they can find.
But it is not us.

Our late friend Sue Hannah started a list of commemorative kerchiefs that Joyce Gross published in Quilters Journal decades ago. Early 19th-century monochromes include mourning panels, political textiles, Masonic kerchiefs, and celebrity prints.

We have records of antislavery handkerchiefs but have never seen one incorporated into a quilt.

An early quilt with an even earlier monochromatic Masonic bandana 
at the Noah Webster house in Massachusetts

Similar style from the collection of the Winterthur Museum.
The central square features the U.S. Founders with Washington in the center.

Many Washington memorial textiles mourned his death in 1799, at a time when these monochrome panels were quite the fashion, commemorating everything from battles to British royal celebrations.

Some of the textiles are more like print broadsides.
This Washington panel offers an image of George Washington
as a truthful president, once considered a virtue.

The same printers who did newspapers and job printing
were probably responsible for these wordy textiles.

The Smithsonian's Treaty of Pilnitz quilt features a monochrome
kerchief in the center recalling an arcane agreement between 
Prussia and the Holy Roman Empire in 1791.

Celebration of King George III's Golden Jubilee about 1810
from Dorothy Osler's book

Now this is what we are talking about! A multicolored image printed
in isolation, looking as if it was meant to be cut out and used in furnishings.
It has a number (#24) and a post:

If you want to read more about monochrome commemoratives the Smithsonian's long-out-of-print book Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth by Herbert Ridgway Collins is a great source.
Here's a post from Barbara's 1812 Quilts blog about the early commemorative bandanas: