Daniel Pursell; coverlet; jacquard, double-cloth; c. 1860; Ohio

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This blue and white Jacquard double-woven coverlet is believed to have been made in Ohio, possibly at the factory of Daniel Pursell. The centerfield design is commonly known as "Birds Feeding this Young" and features pairs of peafowl feeding chicks in a nest over floral urns. The three-sided double border depicts a pattern commonly referred to as "Boston Town.” Early twentieth century coverlet scholars referred to these pattern that include Federal architecture with elements of Chinoiserie as “Christians and Heathens.” According to the donor, whose family is from Portsmouth, Ohio, her great-grandmother raised the sheep and spun the wool for use in this coverlet. The donor received the coverlet from her father, Val Bennett Heisel who received it from his mother, Frances Noble Heisel. Frances received that coverlet from her father, the original owner, Laughlin Noble. Daniel Pursell (1812-1880) wove coverlets in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio. Clarita Anderson and Robert Heisey both mention Pursell in their catalogs of known weavers. He only dated one coverlet that is known, but based on census records we can estimate that Daniel Pursell was weaving in Scioto County from approximately 1840 until he enlisted in the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Battery L in 1861 as a bugler. In the 1870 Federal Census, Daniel Pursell is listed as a paper-maker, having abandoned weaving after the Civil War. In the 1880 Federal Census, Purcell is listed as a drug store attendant in Logan, Hocking County, Ohio. He died shortly after. Pursell appears to have designed his own patterns. It is not clear what kind of loom he wove on or how his business was organized, but he clearly had an eye for design and color and ranks as one of Ohio’s most skilled coverlet weavers. The coverlet measures 97.5 inches by 85 inches and 4.25 inch self-fringe along three sides.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1860s
c. 1840-1850
c. 1860
maker (possibly)
Pursell, Daniel
place woven
United States: Ohio
Physical Description
jacquard (overall production method/technique)
double cloth (overall production method/technique)
cotton (overall material)
wool (overall material)
overall: 95 1/2 in x 85 in; 242.57 cm x 215.9 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Linda Sue Heisel Faucett
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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