Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another New York Pictorial Quilt

The Smithsonian's collection includes a pictorial bedcover from Ulster County, New York with a tree-of-life center cut from the palm tree chintzes so popular in the teens and twenties.

It caught my eye because the woman seems to have a black dachshund in her lap in addition to a brindle dog demanding equal attention. I wasn't going to include it in my discussion of quilts made about the time of the War of 1812 because the Smithsonian website dates it to 1840-1860 but the more I look at it the more I think it's earlier.

The photos of the quilt aren't too good so not very useful for dating the fabrics. See them here:

In 1975, the Smithsonian acquired the counterpane from Margaret Blauvelt Hasbrouck Elliot with the family story that an English woman made it in the 1850s for her grandparents Josiah Hasbrouck and Ellen Blauvelt Hasbrouck. Josiah was born in 1830 and Ellen about 1840. They married in 1856 and lived in Esopus, northeast of New Paltz in Ulster County on the west bank of the Hudson. 

I imagine the attribution to a British servant is based on the supposed date and quilt's style, which does relate to British quilts. But as we saw in the post on the Sarah Warner bedcovers there was a New York pictorial style. This quilt has many things in common with the few surviving pictorial quilts made in the U.S. before 1825.

Notice the sheep at the base of the green hill in the Hasbrouck quilt, very similar to sheep at the base of the brown hill in the Phebe Warner quilt.

And below the hill are men in boats, also seen in the Hannah Stockton Stiles quilt. I just doubt the Hasbrouck quilt is later than 1830.

On the right is a fashion plate dated 1821 that shows similar dress to the dog lover sitting on the green hill. The broad hat, the gown's waist (slightly higher than natural---but not empire), the trim at the bottom of a bell shaped skirt and in particular the new wider sleeves indicate fashion from the 1820s or '30s rather than the '40s or later.
Those sleeves got wider and wider and so did the skirts as in this 1830 fashion plate.
Based on the woman's fashion and the palm tree chintz I am guessing the Hasbrouck family bedcover was made between 1820 and 1830, probably by one of the couple's ancestors.

Josiah's mother Mary Ann Oliver Hasbrouck (1809-1893) may have been a little young---in her teens in the 1820s.
His grandmothers were in their forties then.
Jane Elting Oliver (1783-1842)
Mary Broadhead Hasbrouck (1785-1893)

On Ellen's side
Ellen's mother Maria Mabie Blauvelt (1809-1885) was the same age as Josiah's mother.
Her grandmothers are also possibilities:
Jane Graham Mabie 1784-1858
Lena Fowler Blauvelt 1773-?

Ellen's family, the Blauvelts and the Mabies, are descendents of early Dutch settlers. There were many Blauvelts in New York in the early and mid 19th century.
The Blauvelts of Ellen's generation were quiltmakers---their signatures survive on several quilts. See this post for more mid-19th-century Blauvelt quilts

New Yorkers weren't the only quiltmakers to make pictorial quilts but its certainly a theme in the state's quilt heritage.


WoolenSails said...

I wonder how they did those little pieces, like the legs and such a wonderful job on the appliqué. Love pictorials and I would like to do some with boats in them.


Meg said...

The Blauvelts and Hasbroucks moved to New Jersey at some point. there is a lovely town of Blauvelt in central NJ just near Princeton, and the town of Hasbrouck Heights in Bergen County
thanks for all of the interesting information