Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quilt From the Era


Over the months I'll provide inspiration and ideas for period quilts with quilts actually from the era. Few quilts survive with dates 1812-1815 but this chintz eagle medallion is not only dated 1814 it is inscribed with a patriotic motto under the eagle.

"Strong in thy strength we bend no Knee
To Monarcks or to Tyranny
But borne upon thy ample opinion
We ride to freedom and dominion
1814"



The eagle is the great seal of the United States, used since the 1780s,
with 17 stars (Louisiana, the 18th state was admitted in 1812.)

The applique combines cut-out chintz with conventional applique.

The inked verse, a tribute to freedom, seems derived from poetry of publisher and diplomat Joel Barlow who published The Columbiad in 1808, an epic about America with the lines:
Almighty Freedom! give my venturous song
The force, the charm that to thy voice belong....
Strong in thy strength I bend no suppliant knee,
Invoke no miracle, no Muse but thee.

The outer border is a pillar or architectural print framing a field of hexagonal patchwork (undoubtedly paper template pieced). Someone had access to the latest imported fabric.

The quilt top was pictured in the 1989 Quilt Engagement Calendar from antique dealers John and Jeannette Bronstein. It looks very English but the verse and Great Seal are very American.


The letters in the banner are worn away. It may have said "E Pluribus Unum"---Out of Many One.

7 comments:

Rosemary Youngs said...

I absolutely love the Eagle medallion, just seems like such a fitting quilt to share today as we Remember The anniversary of 9/11.

Donna K from N.TX aka Quilting Bear Gal said...

Barbara, I'm enjoying your new blog as well as the Material Obsessions and Civil War Quilt blogs. Thanks so much for all you do to preserve and share quilt history.

Hilda said...

Wonderful quilt ! Thanks very much for such a great blog - looking forward to many more :)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this quilt. Can you tell us the size and where it is currently?

Susie said...

I love this quilt. What a great one!

Barbara Brackman said...

Don't know where it is today. I tired contacting the dealers but couldn't find them. How big? Probably big. They were often 100 inches or more at that time.

Robin said...

The chintz eagle wings are the best! Thanks for sharing.