Thursday, May 25, 2017

quilted cape from Honolulu

Here's something different. It's a quilted cape from Honolulu. I have seen traditional capes made of feathers but never one made like a quilt. The echo quilting is a hallmark of the popular Hawaiian applique quilts.

A feather cape in the Bishop Museum has almost the same design. I discovered an image online and took a screen shot. The feather cape must have been the inspiration for the quilted one. The designs are remarkably similar, and I am sure the feather cape is much older than the quilted one.

Since it is coming from Hawaii, the seller offered to remove it from the frame for shipping. Thank goodness! I didn't want the frame. Can't wait to see it in person, and get some better photos. Maybe I'll be able to figure out approximately when it was made. The auction description said it was "vintage" but gave no circa date.

After some exhaustive and relatively fruitless Google searches, I finally came up with a possible hit. There are groups that use ceremonial capes. One of those is the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.

I had a chat with Blaine Fergerstrom, Secretary of Chapter 1 of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I in Honolulu, and he loved the cape but hadn't seen a quilted cape before. The capes they use are velour, so possibly this one was made as a unique display piece. Also, the design is not the one their chapter uses. So, the search continues...

1 comment:

  1. A year ago there was a small exhibit at LACMA with these wonderful feather capes.