1841 - 1844 Mary Taylor's Album Quilt Top

Description
The large center block of this album quilt is inscribed in ink: “Hester Willard To her Sister Mary Norriston April 12 1842.” Hester’s sister would have been Mary H. (?) Taylor. Almost all of the other 68 pieced and appliquéd blocks contain an inked or stamped signature, and many are dated between 1841 and 1844. Additionally many are inscribed with verse from hymns or period literature expressing parting and remembrance. The signatures on the quilt blocks are those of relatives, neighbors, and friends. They lived either in Lower Dublin in Philadelphia County or in the city of Philadelphia, except for Mary’s sisters, Hester Willard and Emily Taylor, who lived in Norristown, Pa, a suburb of Philadelphia.
All of the 68 pieced and appliquéd blocks are different, creating the sampler effect. Both traditional motifs and delightful original designs are represented. These are arrayed around a 17 x 18 1/4-inch center square. An unfinished quilt top, evidence indicates that it was reassembled at some time. Four blocks have been enlarged with fabrics that appear to be of a later date (1875-1900). The fabrics are mainly roller-printed dress fabrics with some furnishing chintzes, there are no plain-colored cottons.
Mary was probably the daughter of Thomas and Susan Wright Taylor. Neither Thomas nor Susan is listed in the 1850 Census. Earlier, Susan is listed as head of household in the 1830 and 1840 Census for Lower Dublin, Philadelphia, Pa. Many of the Wright family members are buried in the cemetery at the Pennyback Baptist Church which was first named the Lower Dublin Baptist Church. It was the first Baptist Church in Philadelphia. We know no further information about Mary Taylor ---whether she had married, gone west, or died.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt
date made
1841-1844
maker
unknown
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton, silk (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 82 in x 75 in; 208 cm x 191 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Norristown
ID Number
TE*T14870
catalog number
T14870
accession number
282796
subject
Domestic Furnishings
Cultures & Communities
Textiles
Quilting
Quilts
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Quilts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Barbara C. Donohue
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.