Harry Tyler; coverlet; Figured and Fancy, double cloth; 1858; New York

Harry Tyler (1801-1858) wove this blue and white, double cloth coverlet in 1858. The coverlet has no fringe and measures 94 inches by 84 inches and is made up of two panels with a center seam. There is a large central medallion composed of a starburst and floral design. Beyond that, but still inside the centerfield are stylized floral designs with blooms, buds, and a bird perched in each of the four corners. The four-sided border is composed of gadrooned bowls on stands filled with fruit and flowers. The cornerblocks feature a Great Seal Eagle with a banderole depicting the motto, “E. Pluribus Unum.” The coverlet features the inscription, “1858/ Marjery L. Emerson/ Jefferson Co. NY” in each of the four corners.
Tyler was born in Connecticut, moving to New York sometime around 1834. Harry Tyler married three times to Anne Cole, Harriet A. Dye, and Mary A. Tyler. His son with Anne, Elman Tyler (1829-1909) was also a coverlet weaver and wove coverlets in the same pattern as his father even after Harry’s death in 1858. This coverlet is either one of Harry Tyler’s last coverlets or one that his son wove. The details of Harry Tyler’s life are a bit of a mystery. There are over 300 coverlets attributed to Tyler, but very little documentary evidence of his business activity or life. The Jefferson County Historical Society is fortunate to have over 40 Harry Tyler coverlets in its collection. They also included this information about the death of Harry Tyler, which has evaded scholars for decades. Harry Tyler died August 22,1858 at the age of 57 after suffering a stroke and is buried in Smithville Cemetery, Jefferson County, New York.
Currently not on view
date made
Tyler, Harry
Physical Description
double cloth (overall production method/technique)
wool, cotton (overall material)
Figured and Fancy (overall style)
overall: 94 in x 84 in; 238.76 cm x 213.36 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Emerson
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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