Ann Robinson's quilt
Collection of the Shelburne Museum
The caption in this catalog of the Shelburne's collection reads:
"Appliqed and Pieced Counterpane, Floral Medallion Pattern 1814. Made by Ann Robinson. New England, possibly Connecticut. Cotton; marked 'Ann Robinson October 1, 1813' and 'Finished January 27, 1814.' 100" x 95". Museum acquisition 1954-439 (10-140)
I've been thinking about Ann Robinson's quilt for years.
I began a copy and have finished my 4 cornucopia. Being quite familiar with those cornucopia with their tulips and blade-shaped leaves I was surprised to come across this photo in Averil Colby's English book Patchwork.
Colby's caption reads: " 'The Isle of Wight' coverlet with applique and patchwork patterns in chintz and cotton dress prints, ca. 1820". She said in 1958 that it was lost and this black and white photo the only record.
Same cornucopia, a lot less stuff. I should have copied this one. I'd probably be finished.
The "American" quilt on the left,
the Isle of Wight spread on the right
Could it be that Ann Robinson's quilt is English? And my whole theory about an early American applique style is on a slow boat to the Isle of Wight.
In this 1958 book Colby also included a quilt made by the Sharman sisters about the same time as the Isle of Wight coverlet.
This quilt by "the two Miss Sharman's ca 1820" includes horns of plenty in the corners.
I am thinking a lot more work needs to be done on the Ann Robinson quilt: more geneaology, more looking at English pictorial quilts. I'm becoming more doubtful of a Connecticut origin.
It has more in common with English applique such as this one that Colby also pictured "applique coverlet with a great variety of cotton prints." She dated it to about 1850. It's now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The applique style with pictures not confined by blocks seems very British.
So when we see something like this one dated 1845 we can guess it's British, even though it was found in the United States.
The human figures, the horses and other animals and particuarly the freedom of the unconfined applique seems to define a style found in the English quilts below.
An English quilt dated 1852 signed Lucy Hasell (?)
Horses and hearts are a recurring theme.
From an English auction in 2004---probably 1840s
Averil Colby drew up some of the appliqued images, but her book seems to have inspired few to copy these pictorial quilts in the 1950s.
Here's a British quilt with an orderly center and a border of scattered flowers, hearts and leaf shapes, again probably 1830s or '40s.
Similar to this one
I think this style resonates better with us today than with Colby's original readers.
This pair of panels was probably separated a long time ago.
The one above is on the Cora Ginsburg site.
A shorter, more faded piece that sold at an online auction.
They may have been borders once and even though they are in the U.S. are probably English.
It's not that we don't see hearts, horses and people in American quilts. They just stay inside their blocks where they belong.
This brings us back to Ann Dagge's quilt, dated the 1 of May, 1818.
We shall consider its origins next week.