Saturday, November 3, 2018

Panels #23 & #28: Baskets of English Flowers

This post is about two similar floral baskets found only in English quilts.
They may have been printed by different mills, one copying the other's designs.

Reproduction of Panel #28 from Makower
This one has a pair of birds in the basket

Center of a quilt in the Bowes Museum, Panel #28
Both feature a wicker basket with a bouquet framed in a floral wreath. 

The framing wreath is not so formal as those we see in many panels...
More like a country garden than a formal garden.

We have three British bedcovers with Panel #28 in our files and two with #23, both linked  to famous quiltmakers. The first with #28 is from the Bowes Museum.

Quilt by Elizabeth Norman, Lowick, Northumberland, England.
Estimated date 1820-1829, outer border perhaps added about 1850.
Bowes Museum

This shot of the center shows 12 repeats of panel #30 framing this larger panel.
See a post on #30, another distinctly British design, here:

This piece is a finished quilt, quilted mainly in scallops.
Elizabeth Norman was fond of stripes.

The second quilt is a photograph found floating about on line.
Anybody recognize it? It's titled English Museum.

The third bedcover, unquilted, is the famous Austen family coverlet in the Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton.

The women of the house cut the basket
tightly to fit inside their diamond patchwork.

Chawton Cottage where Jane Austen,
her sister and her mother resided after 1809 with a few other women:
servants and friend Martha Lloyd.

Makower UK printed a reproduction of this panel, calling it the Austen Panel a few years ago.

Cynthia Collier used one for the center of her medallion.

Rosalee Clark did a mini from her Austen pattern.

Attributed to Joe Hedley
Collection of the Beamish Museum in Durham

Our second panel #23 is in the center of two bedcovers attributed to Joe Hedley (Joe the Quilter) (1749?-1826)

Detail of the panel in the Beamish Museum quilt
showing the ribbon-entwined wreath with wheat in the corners.

In her 1954 book Traditional Quilting - Its Story And Its Practice, Mavis Fitzrandolph showed a patchwork quilt from a private collection also attributed to Hedley with the same panel.

"This quilt was done by Old Joe, the quilter
 in 1824. who was Murdered Jan 5, 1826"
inked on the reverse of the Bowes Museum's quilt

Hedley was a professional quiltmaker. The Bowes Museum also has a white work quilt attributed to him with the Herdman family story that it "was ordered and bought direct from Joe the Quilter in 1820 by the English family and was passed down to James Herdman of Wall village."

What can we learn from Panel #28? 

"My dear Cassandra, have you remembered to collect pieces for the Patchwork? --
 We are now at a standstill."

In 1811 Jane Austen reminded her sister they were working on a bedcover at Chawton Cottage. The date of the piece is somewhat of a mystery.

Detail where the center field of patchwork
meets the framing border. The central diamonds
look as if they could have been collected about 1811.

Jane died in 1817, so we wonder how much of the finished bedcover she saw. The inside field of patchwork looks earlier than the outside border---a ten year + gap?--- based on print styles. Did Jane help with the larger diamonds in the central field while the outer border was finished after her death?

Brighter colors, roller prints (?) as well
as wood block calicoes in the border.
The museum has estimated 2,500 smaller diamonds in this 11" border.

New combinations of color that appeared in the teens?

We only have photos to examine and it's hard to tell what the true colors are but the overall style change in the two sections is apparent.

As we move the date on the panels from the accepted "ca. 1810" date to more like teens and 1820s we wonder if Jane ever saw that center panel. Was the Chawton bedcover finished in the late 1820s? Jane's mother lived until 1827 and her sister and Martha died in the early 1840s. 

And Joe Hedley's two panel quilts probably date from the 1820s too. He lived until 1826.

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