1855 - 1885 Laura Clark's Silk Patchwork Table Cover

Laura Clark pieced 11½-inch blocks in a variation of the Log Cabin pattern also referred to as Pineapple or Chestnut Burr. Each of the blocks has a black center and corners. The pointed edges are bound in black velvet. The blocks are pieced with paper templates that are still in place over muslin foundation blocks, with a very thin cotton filling between the paper and the top fabric. The fabrics used include plain, striped, ribbed, pattern-woven, checked, printed, and brocaded silks as well as velvet, taffeta, cotton and ribbon. Many of the fabrics date from the 1850s and 1860s, but there are also fabrics from the 1870s and 1880s, suggesting that the piece was made in the 1880s using recycled fabrics. Herringbone, buttonhole, chain feather, cross and French knot embroidery stitches embellish the surface. The table cover is lined with a warp-printed, woven striped silk.
Laura A. Baldwin was born in Rutland, Vermont in February 1834 and moved with her family to Pennsylvania as a young child. In about 1860 she married Chester B. Clark. Chester was born in Torringford, Connecticut in 1827 and had also moved with his family to Pennsylvania. In 1867 Laura and Chester Clark settled in Earlville, Illinois where they lived the rest of their lives. Chester was listed as a merchant and capitalist in the censuses and died in 1901. Laura's grandson, Chester Wells Clark donated the table cover to the Museum in 1951.
Currently not on view
date made
Clark, Laura A. Baldwin
Physical Description
fabric, silk, velvet, taffeta, ribbon, cotton (overall material)
thread, silk, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 64 in x 64 in; 163 cm x 163 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Chester Wells Clark
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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