1760 Eve Van Cortlandt's Quilted Counterpane

Description
Eve Van Cortlandt's fine white linen quilted counterpane is one of the earliest dated American quilts in existence. The date, "1760" and her initials, "E V C," are embroidered in blue silk cross-stitch on the quilt lining. Quilted with white linen thread, a delicate pattern of flowers, feathery stems, and low open baskets surround a central quatrefoil medallion. The design is set off by a background of quilted parallel lines just one-eighth inch apart.
Eve was born on May 22, 1736, to Frederick Van Cortlandt and Francena Jay each from families of wealthy and prominent New York landowners. She made her quilt for her dower chest while living in the family home. In 1761, Eve married the Honorable Henry White, a businessman and a member of the King’s Council of the Royal Colony of New York. He became president of the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1772 and remained loyal to the King of England during the Revolution.
When the British evacuated New York in 1783, Henry moved his family to England. Henry White died in London in 1786, and Eve returned to America as a widow, most likely to be near two of her children who lived in New York. Of their five children, two sons were in the British service and remained in London, as did one daughter. Eve died in 1836 at the age of one hundred, having witnessed a century of historic events. Since 1897, the family home in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx has been a museum.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt
Object Type
quilts
Date made
1760
quilter
Van Cortlandt, Eve
Physical Description
fabric, linen, cotton (overall material)
thread, linen (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 98 in x 87 in; 248 cm x 220 cm
place made
United States: New York, Bronx
ID Number
1979.0184.01
catalog number
1979.0184.01
accession number
1979.0184
subject
Quilting
Domestic Furnishings
Textiles
Quilts
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Quilts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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