Sunday, October 7, 2018

Panel #21: Princess Charlotte of Wales

British quilt top from a Christie's Auction with panel #21 in the center .

Panel #21, Princess Charlotte of Wales/
Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg marriage commemorative panel, 1816
A lovely quilt, very British in it's appliqued hearts and pieced frames, celebrating a future Queen of England, the only heir of King George IV.

The final border is a stripe popular on both sides of the Atlantic,
often paired with the fruit panel #5.

 Royal Wedding, May, 1816

Top sold at Tennant's Auction

Another cheerful quilt full of  hearts and hope for the future of the couple.

Sampler by Tirzah Gibbs, 1829, Bonham's Auctions

"Princess Charlotte
Died November the 5th,1817
Aged 22
Hope is Fled"

1817 was a bad year for English celebrities. Jane Austen died in July; Charlotte in November, a day after giving birth to a baby who died too. Great Britain was shocked. There were no other heirs and no hope her parents would ever have a civil encounter in the same room again much less another royal baby.

In 1923 MacIver Percival showed a trimmed panel in his The Chintz Book. In the inner border: "Princess Charlotte of Wales Married to Leopold Prince of Saxe Cobourg May 2, 1816"

The Victoria & Albert Museum has yardage with the name of the printer on the tax stamp: John Lowe and Co. Furniture Printers, Shepley Hall.

The Castle Museum in York has this chintz applique
in its collection. Four Charlotte panels surround an oval floral (Panel #15)

Like other panels commemorating British current events
we can assume that the panel was not printed for export.

See the George III Jubilee panel at this post:

However, there are a couple of style characteristics in the Castle Museum coverlet that make me wonder if it is American. One is the lack of piecework in the borders. Another is the abundance of palm trees and birds. It's not that English quiltmakers didn't use palm trees and peacocks but they didn't use them in the same way. (A digression.)

Most of the Charlotte quilts look very British and most of them are in England today.

England's Beamish Open Air Museum has a nine patch with the panel in the center.

Medallion below from the Binney collection is now in the New England Quilt Museum, the only known Charlotte quilt in the U.S. today. 

Princess Charlotte Commemorative
New England Quilt Museum
Gift of the Binney Family

Parts of Panel #5 form a ring around the birds...

The same birds as in the Castle Museum's top.

A Second Charlotte Panel

In Emma Jane Worboise's 1877 novel The Grey House at Endlestone she crafted a well-observed, cobwebby scene. Hilda awoke in a strange bed...

"the hangings were of faded chintz, the counterpane was a wonderful device of many-coloured octahedrons with a choice centre-piece, displaying the washed-out features of the Princess Charlotte, surrounded by the dates---almost illegible---of her Royal Highness's birth and marriage."

I thought this might be a description of the octagon panel above but then I realized there is another 
Princess Charlotte textile.

With a portrait --- rather washed out and with her birth and death dates.

British frame quilt auctioned at Wooley & Wallis showrooms.

The panel is a monochrome toile, something we are NOT
indexing here but it is too cool to ignore.

The Metropolitan Museum and the Victorian & Albert each
have a panel. As you can see in the quilt it's large, 19" x 26".
The portrait with a mourning wreath was copied from a print...

Copied from a painting

Portrait of Princess Charlotte of Wales
1816. Collection of the Brighton Museum

And one more Princess Charlotte memorial:

The New England Quilt Museum also has a nicely
arranged hexagon top by Englishwoman Catharine Tebay 
through 1816 and 1817.

Attention to detail throughout the patchwork...

Including this typeset label along the edge

and a piece she must have inserted after finishing
 the top, mourning the death of the Princess.

Monument to Princess Charlotte at Windsor Castle 
by M.C. Wyatt, finished in 1824

What Can We Learn From Panel #21?

The Prince(ess) of Wales's symbol of three feathers and motto
"I serve" in German

These polychrome framed panels marking public events seem to have been popular with British textile printers in the teens, beginning with the George III Jubilee panel about 1809, continuing through Wellington's Victory at the Battle of Vittoria in 1813 and Charlotte's wedding in 1816. Links to events easily date them and we can assume that many of the other popular panels in similar designs were printed from about 1810 to 1820.

American side chair with nail head trim, 1795
Collection of the Winterthur Museum

 We also assume the panels were printed for furnishings and this Charlotte panel supports that view with its dotted border that looks much like nail heads.

Chair with nail head trim, 1794–99 attributed to
Samuel McIntire, Salem, Massachusetts
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Read Anita Loscalzo's “Commemoration and Grief: Two Coverlets and the Death of Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales” in the British Quilt Studies Group's 2012 publication, Quilt Studies 13. 

See pictures of the panels at these links:

No comments:

Post a Comment