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My 1880s Silk Quilt

18 Feb

Over the past 40 years, I collected vintage quilts. Most of these were found at antique markets in Maryland and Pennsylvania. I haven’t added to the collection since moving to Florida.

A few months ago, I took one quilt to the Davenport Quilt show for appraisal. I opted for the quickie appraisal, not wishing to spend the $40 for the written one that would have included an estimate of value for the quilt.

The quilt appraisor with my 1880s or 1890s silk quilt.

The quilt appraisor with my 1880s or 1890s silk quilt.

Here’s what I learned about it. The pattern is a star block. It appears to have been made from a grey silk dress as there are tucks in some of the pieces. Due to the iron content used in dyes for silk, those pieces are likely to suffer some disintegration over the years. A few small pieces show this with the silk shredding. The appraiser said there is nothing that can be done to prevent this since the harm was done at the time the fabric was made.

The red parts are not silk, but linen. The backing is a paisley that looks to be of 1880s vintage.

The batting is very thin and it is probable that this was never intended for use on a bed for warmth. More likely it was for show or for a lap robe.

Rather than being quilted, it is a tied quilt with red and green ribbons. The green ones have faded to a yellow over the last 130 years, but in a few places the original color could be detected. With the red and green ribbons plus the poinsettia look of the stars, this might be a Christmas quilt.

 

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on February 18, 2015 in antiques

 

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One response to “My 1880s Silk Quilt

  1. Nancy Hardin

    February 18, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Lovely, Virginia. I love old quilts, but mostly the ones my mother made. She hand quilted so many through the years, and sadly I only have a handful of them. They’re wonderful examples of Americana art.

     

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