1882 Sarah Streeper's Parlor Throw

In the mid-1880s Sarah Paul Streeper carefully crafted this velvet parlor throw for her granddaughter, Kate Van Winkle’s, trousseau.
Twenty 8 ½-inch blocks frame a center block, 18 1/2-inches square, on this throw. The blocks are joined with a 1 3/8-inch black velvet sashing. Sarah Streeper used applique, embroidery, and paint to decorate the velvet blocks. The center block has a combination of floral motifs that are also found on the smaller blocks.
Crazy-patchwork is used for one block and other blocks have such motifs as a spider web, fan, and an owl-on-a-branch that were popular on Victorian throws. A letter “A” embroidered on one block may have been for Angeline, Sarah’s daughter and Kate’s mother. The blocks are edged with feather stitching. Stem, buttonhole, satin, couching, French knot and herringbone stitches were used for details. A dark red velvet 4-inch border completes this throw.
Sarah Paul was born September 1813 in Pennsylvania. In 1837, she married Peter Streeper (1812-1876) and the couple had eight children. On the 1880 census, Sarah was living with her youngest daughter, Emily, in Philadelphia. Sarah died there on October 20,1902. She is buried at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Barren Hill, Pa. Her tombstone is inscribed “Aged 89 years and 20 days / Call not back the dear departed / Anchored safe where storms are o’er . . . we left thee / Soon to meet and part no more.”
Kate Van Winkle, for whose trousseau the parlor throw was made, was born about 1867 in Pennsylvania to Kline and Angeline Streeper Van Winkle. Angeline was Sarah’s eldest daughter. Kate married George F. Grieb in 1888. They had three children and also lived in Pennsylvania. Their granddaughter, Johannah Grieb, donated the elegant parlor throw to the Museum in 1953.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Streeper, Sarah P.
Physical Description
fabric, velvet, satin, silk, ribbon (overall material)
thread, silk, cotton (overall material)
overall: 70 in x 70 in; 178 cm x 178 cm
Place Made
United States: Pennsylvania, Montgomery county
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Family & Social Life
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Johannah B. Grieb
Additional Media

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