1792 - 1810 "Treaty of Pillnitz" Pieced Quilt

Copper-plate and block-printed fabrics from the late-18th and early-19th centuries make this pieced quilt a valuable contribution to the Collection. Originally purchased at a thrift shop for $2.00, this rare find was generously donated to the Museum in 1956.
In the 21-inch pieced center section are ten fragments of a plate-printed cotton fabric thought to commemorate the Treaty of Pillnitz, 1792. It was the first formal alliance in opposition to the French Revolution. Participants whose portraits appear on the fabric segments are the King of Prussia (Frederick William II), The Empress of Russia (Catherine II), the King of Britain (George III), and the Emperor of Germany (Leopold II).
The center block is immediately surrounded by 15 ½-inch-square pieced blocks and rectangular blocks either of linen embellished with wool embroidery or plain and block-printed cotton and linen/cotton fabrics. This is framed by a complex piecing of printed, embroidered, and plain fabrics. The crewel-embroidered floral sprigs and exotic birds on linen may have been fragments from recycled bed furnishings or a petticoat. Linen thread was used for the chevron and diagonal grid quilting patterns, quilted at 7-8 stitches per inch. The various fabrics produced by different printing techniques make this quilt a remarkable example of the period.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
fabric, cotton, linen (overall material)
thread, linen, wool (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 91 in x 76 in; 231 cm x 192 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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 Mrs. Nicholas Satterlee
Additional Media

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