Friday, September 30, 2011

Early Wholecloth Chintz Quilt

Late 18th or early 19th century wholecloth chintz quilt with tape binding
Yesterday my doorbell rang and the postman had a certified letter for me to sign. It was from the U.S. Postal Service, hazardous materials division. They had a package for me, but weren't allowed to deliver it because it was in a liquor box. So I drove across town to get the package from the office near the airport. It was the package I'd been expecting from Ohio, with two old quilts. One of these was a very old wholecloth chintz quilt.

Click to enlarge and see the spectacular quilting design
The quilt is in fair condition, probably good considering its age and the delicate materials used in its construction. The chintz fabric is paper thin. The backing is very fragile, thin silk, and the quilt is surprisingly lightweight. I found it on eBay from a seller in Ohio, but I think it probably came from one of the east coast colonial states.

Striped silk on the back, check out the quilting design!
The fabric looks French, as does the style of presentation. If you look closely at the full view, there is an elaborate, medallion style quilting design, framed, with wandering feather vines along the outer edges. You can see the design even better on the back. The center medallion appears to be a circular feather wreath surrounded by double-line diamond grid fill, with smaller diamond grid fill inside the circle. There is a rectangle framing the center. Click the pictures to see enlarged views.

Dertail of back with quilting and striped silk fabric that has changed color
Detail of chintz fabric, lines of diamonds make blue striped background
Couldn't you just see this quilt in a very well appointed colonial bedroom, with matching curtains and pillows, on an ornately carved canape bed? So, that's one of the two quilts in the package. What else was in the box? Stay tuned...