James Alexander; coverlet; Figured and Fancy, double-cloth; 1824; New York

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James Alexander (1770-1870) wove this blue and white, Figured and Fancy, double cloth coverlet for Eleanor Van Etten in Orange County, New York in 1824. The white warp and weft yarns are 2-ply, S-twist, Z-spun cotton while the blue yarns are 2-ply, s-twist, and Z-spun wool. In the binding, the yarn is a z-spun cotton single of and there is a secondary yarn which appears to be 2-ply s-twist z-spun cotton. The centerfield is composed of large “Double Tulip” carpet medallions and foliate designs. The lengthwise border is composed of depictions of Independence Hall flanked by eagles and surmounted by stars and floral springs. The crosswise border is made of Masonic columns flanked by eagles. The repeat unit for the Centerfield measures 27 inches by 26 inches. The border is 7.25 inches wide on all four sides. The repeat unit for the crosswise border is 7.25 inches by 29 inches, while the repeat for the lengthwise borders is 27.75 inches x 7.25 inches. The coverlet is composed of two 38 " wide lengths which were woven as one length, cut, and hand sewn together. The coverlet measures 96.5 inches by 76 inches. There is woven inscription in each corner which reads, “Eleanor Van Etten Oct. 14 1824." This coverlet has descended through the Swartwout family of New York for generations before coming to the Smithsonian.
Currently not on view
date made
Van Etten, Eleanor
Alexander, James
place woven
United States: New York, Orange county
Physical Description
Figured and Fancy (overall style)
double cloth (overall production method/technique)
cotton, wool (overall material)
blue, white (overall color)
overall: 96 1/2 in x 76 in; 245.11 cm x 193.04 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
gift of Lynda Willamer
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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