Monday, December 3, 2018

Panel #1: Oval Bouquet with Primroses

Victoria and Albert Museum Collection
Panel #1 is an oval floral.
Caption for the above:
"Ca. 1815, Lancashire, Sabden Print Works, Bury, John, born 1764 (designer)
Height: 17.5 in, Width: 25 in. Block-printed cotton in several colours. The pattern includes a design of a large oval of naturalistic flowers surrounded by a band of small angular flowers."

The band or floral frame
There was a fashion in the teens and 1820s for those angular flowers designed to look like 
woven pattern and jagged twigs, called shawl prints or stick prints.

The bouquet in Panel #1 features a central image of four white-centered
flowers that catch your eye.

Terry Terrell and Deborah Krake in their Flowers on Chintz webpage classify the flower as an auricula  (Primula auricula) or primrose.

Perhaps inspired by the classic 1730 set of prints known as
Furber's Flowers----this bouquet is for March.

The corners also feature four primroses. Were the brown primroses once purple? Probably not.

At the top ....

Medallion Quilt Made attributed to Elizabeth Brice Cochrane Harris (Gingles),
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 1830-1840 

We have 17 examples of bedcovers using this panel. The North Carolina project found several, pictured in their book North Carolina Quilts in the chapter "Chintz Applique Quilts" by Ellen Fickling Eanes. Here the large oval Panel #1 is framed by cut Panels #16. See our post about #16 here:

Elizabeth included leaves and a border of conventional applique
in her chintz composition. The central panel is 25" wide.

Attributed to Ann Adeline Orr Parks, 1826, Mecklenburg County

Panel corners are trimmed and fill out the rectangular frame. The very popular print Swainson's Palm Tree and Pheasant is cut for a border. See more about Adeline Parks's family drygoods business here:

Mary Ann Young, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, 1830-1840

A different panel corner has been cut for the triangular pieces inside the square border.

Unknown maker, descended in the Kennickell, family, North Carolina.
The same triangular corner pieces seen in the Young quilt frame a trimmed Panel #1.

Merikay's files contain a black and white photo of a quilt
attributed to Mary Mansfield Lewis McDowell (1790-1872) of
Rutherford County, North Carolina.
Collection of the Charlotte History Museum

Another medallion with maker unknown, quite far from home
in the collection of the Indiana State Museum, shown in Quilts of Indiana.

Unknown maker, recently sold at Jeffrey Evans Auctions,
deaccessioned by MESDA
the Museum of Southern Decorative Arts.

This medallion with its pieced borders and Turkey red and chrome
yellow accents looks to have been done after 1840, although that pillar print
in the border is probably an earlier fabric.

Panel corners in the first border.

Chintz applique of unusual shape, attributed to professional quiltmakers 
the Boyle Sisters of  Petersburg, Virginia, about 1840.
Colonial Williamsburg Collection,

(We've got to start an index to butterflies.)

This medallion from the collection of the Charleston Museum
in South Carolina features Panel #1 as the basis for the central basket of flowers.
Four trimmed Panel #7's are on the north/south axes of the border

Additional flowers extend the bouquet.

A few friends have sent snapshots of their panel medallions.

Cindy Vermillion Hamilton's includes panel #20 and game
birds in the center.

Polly Mello's has a border of chintz hexagons with the panel corners spaced out into the rectangle.

We also have photos of a few British quilts with Panel #1, quite different in style.

Elizabeth Capes Quilt
Poos Collection

Elizabeth appliqued small hexagons around the central panel
and turned the corners into hanging baskets with some embroidery.
She seems to have been following her own muse, but most of our British examples
follow the fashions in British frame quilts.

Collection of the Beamish Museum #1989-395,
Attributed to Teesdale
Panel with some patchwork for the central focus, then a field of patchwork.

Panel #1 in a patchwork frame surrounded by a field of triangles.
From the survey book Quilt Treasures of Great Britain

Collection of Mary Ann Randles
Our snapshot here is fuzzy but this also looks to be a field of triangular patchwork

with some floral chintz applique around the panel.

This one also looks British with its series of pieced borders. It's signed and dated.

"Ann Price
But that date may be for the background fabric rather than the patchwork. It's been significantly altered with mid-20th century patches. The smaller panels in the corners are #17.

What Have We Learned from Panel #1?
The Victoria & Albert's caption for this panel attributes it to John Bury of Lancashire ca. 1815, one of the few printer identifications. The Bury brothers of the Sabden Print Works in Lancashire may be responsible for others. Not much has been published about their fabrics, with the exception of a commemorative Admiral Nelson/Trafalgar print.

Trafalgar a repeat woodblock print attributed to John Bury, 1806
See a piece at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston:

In the early teens their mill was described as the "extensive factory and print grounds of Messrs Miller, Burys & Co" with 2,000 workers. John, James and Thomas Bury were partners with others at various times including a second John Bury, son of James. The elder John Bury was born in 1764 and died in or before 1831 when his brother Thomas filed the will of "John Bury, late of Clayton Mills, calico-printer, deceased, then of Riches-court, Lime-street, London, and of Beresford-street, Camberwell, Surrey, and late of Manchester, in no business."

John Bury was associated with several mills and partnerships including the Oakenshaw printworks at Broad Oak in Accrington, Fort, Bury and Taylorthe Sabden Print Works at Pendle Hill, James Bury & Company founded in 1795 and the Clayton Mills. John, James and Thomas Bury went bankrupt in 1822, and it is believed that the elder John Bury had retired in 1817, "in no business."  Like other textile manufacturers they had their ups and downs. In his 1848 industrial history Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie included James Bury as one of "the twelve principal houses in the cotton trade." Their business records range from 1790 to 1863.

Benjamin Hargreaves in his 1882 account of the calico printing business wrote:
 "After the dissolution of the Oakenshaw concern, in 1811, this concern was worked by Messrs. Bury, but though apparently successful for some years, it did not turn out ultimately prosperous whilst carried on in the name of Bury....These men were not successful in mere money-making, but they were men of cultivated taste." 
 He goes on to compliment their civic projects in the town of Sabden.

Worker housing at Bury Row in Sabden, about 1910

We might guess then, that this panel was printed before Bury's retirement in 1817.

From Michael M. Edwards in The Growth of the British Cotton Trade, 1780-1815:
"The Burys were anxious to break into the profitable market for luxury furniture prints, but Samuel Lloyd [their London agent] was critical of their efforts. He wrote to the foreman in charge of the printing department at Pendle Hill in November, 1799:
'If you have not good cloths for the furniture [print] do not print a single piece more until there are some good pieces bought....this is my positive orders to you, on no account put a furniture print to work but on the very best cloths---the work that you have been doing lately in garments is the worst in the trade, all the orders are returned....' "
Looking at this panel, we shall have to assume the Burys found better greige goods (pronounced gray goods ---the cotton cloth) and did go into the furniture chintz business, rather successfully it would seem.

From Polly Mello's medallion

We have more than twice as many panel#1 American bedcovers than British but it seems to have been popular with seamstresses in both the UK & the US, printed for the domestic British market and the American export trade.

Very different styles in the U.S. & the U.K.

You'll see how difficult it is to understand British mill production when you view this list of textile mills in Grace's Guide to British Industrial History:

They do note that two volumes of samples and pattern books from 1811 to 1816 survive in the Bury family and estate collection.

For his book The Growth of the British Cotton Trade, 1780-1815, Michael M. Edwards studied the Bury manuscript papers described here:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for all the wonderful documentation on these medallion quilts. Just a couple of notes about the Elizabeth Capes quilt. This quilt is inscribed "This quilt was designed by Elizabeth Capes of CASTOR and finished by her Jan'y 1810, in the 63rd year of her age." Also in cross stitch is SC 1809, which is probably her daughter Elizabeth Sabrah Capes. Genealogy info on the family is included on p. 94 of Chintz Quilts of the Poos Collection. As far as I know, this is the oldest dated chintz panel quilt.