1840 - 1860 Paulding Family's "Tyger" Quilt

Description
“I have a quilt that has been in my husband’s family for generations . . . It is supposed to have been slept under by Martha Washington . . .” was the claim when it was offered in 1974. While the quilt was probably made in the mid-19th-century, the fabric that was used made the quilt exceptional. It is a copperplate-printed cotton produced in 1785 by Bromley Hall, England’s largest eighteenth-century textile printing firm.
Copperplate-printing is a process, developed after 1760, by which a pattern is etched on a flat plate, color applied by brush with the excess removed by a scraper, and then the plate and fabric passed through a flat printing press. The pattern found on the fabric of this quilt is labeled “Tyger” in the Bromley Hall pattern book. It features a wide variety of classical and pastoral motifs such as two boys riding leopards, architectural ruins, a dancing shepherdess, peacocks, parrots, sunflowers, and dragonflies, among many others.
Both the front and back of this quilt are composed of pieces of fabric copperplate-printed in brown. Each side has its own lining (one of cotton, one of linen), with a layer of cotton wadding between the two linings. A block-printed border is used for edging both layers and the two sides are whipstitched together. Most likely the "Tyger" fabric and block-printed trim were from an early set of bed furniture. The quilting consists of widely-spaced Vs, worked in crooked lines with uneven stitches, plus or minus four stitches per inch.
The quilt was from the William Paulding family of New York . William Paulding Jr. (1770-1854) was a lawyer and active in politics. He served in the War of 1812, and as mayor of New York City 1824-1826. In 1838 Paulding, along with architect Alexander Jackson Davis, designed and built a country villa named “Knoll” (“Pauldings Folly” by his critics). The house is known today as “Lyndhurst” in Tarrytown, N. Y. A National Trust Historic Site, it remains one of the extravagant examples of 19th-century Gothic Revival mansions along the Hudson River.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt
date made
1840-1860
maker
unknown
Physical Description
fabric, cotton, linen (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 89 in x 73 in; 227 cm x 185 cm
place made
unknown
ID Number
TE*T17289
accession number
314087
catalog number
T17289
subject
Textiles
Government, Politics, and Reform
Domestic Furnishings
Quilting
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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