Jacob Impson; Figured and Fancy coverlet; double-cloth; 1834; New York

Jacob Impson wove this Figured and Fancy, blue and white double-cloth coverlet for Louis Burnham in 1834. The coverlet was woven from two sets of cotton and wool warp and weft and has no fringe. The centerfield pattern features “Double Lily” medallions offset by starbursts. The borders along three sides appear to depict grape vines or possibly even a hops plant, used in brewing beer. The words "Cortland Village" are woven along border, as is the word “Fancy.” The names Lois Burnham and Jacob Impson and the date 1834 are woven into the lower corner blocks.
Jacob Impson (1802-1869) wove coverlets from at least 1832-1845 in Ludlowville and Cortland Village, Cortland County, New York. Impson advertised in the 1824 Ithaca Journal that he was operating a weaving workshop out of the home of John Goodrich. At some point before 1834, Impson relocated to the county seat, Cortland Village where he wove this coverlet for Lois Burnham (1792-1849). More research is needed to learn more about Lois’ life, but we do know from the NY Mortality Census that she was born in Connecticut, married, and fifty-four years old when she died of dysentery in Cortland County.
Currently not on view
date made
Burnham, Lois
Impson, Jacob
place woven
United States: New York, Cortland
place made
United States: New York
Physical Description
Figured and Fancy (overall production method/technique)
double cloth (overall production method/technique)
wool (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
overall: 93 in x 82 1/2 in; 236.22 cm x 209.55 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Harriet Ross
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"I just purchased a Jacob impson coverlet at an auction this past weekend, it is also dated 1834, and has lady's fancy and coryland village across the bottom. I am very excited to find this weaver on here."

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