Kaufman Jacquard Coverlet

Description
This coverlet was woven in 1841 by John Kaufman (Coffman). It belonged to Elizabeth Fretz, great-aunt of the donor. It features stars, eagles, and trees in its border. The center design consists of flowers and sunbursts. The coverlet is cotton and wool, and was woven in two sections that were sewn together with linen thread. According to the donor, the wool in the coverlet came from sheep grown on the family farm. The wool was spun into yarn there as well. John Kaufman (1812—1863) was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. It appears his weaving business was in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1841
user
Fretz, Elizabeth
maker
Kaufman, John
Associated Place
United States: Connecticut
Physical Description
jacquard (overall production method/technique)
single weave (overall production method/technique)
wool (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 95 in x 76 in; 241.3 cm x 193.04 cm
ID Number
TE.T12923
catalog number
T12923.000
accession number
247373
Credit Line
Mr. & Mrs. Frederick W. Darnell
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Coverlets
Domestic Furnishings
Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

I have an 1839 coverlet with the name A. Kaufman on it. I am in Lancaster PA. Could this be another family member?
I have a coverlet with the names of HENRY FRETZ and JOHN KAUFMAN and 1841. Could this be the same John Kaufman as above??
Hello Dennis, I did a quick bit of digging on familysearch.org and findagrave.com and it looks like the Fretz's were from a neighboring Mennonite community in Bedminster, PA. Thanks for bringing your coverlet to my attention. It helps me better understand how Johannes Kaufman was conducting business, how large his market was, and who his clients were. I am assuming that your coverlet is a family heirloom? Treasure it. Woven coverlets are underappreciated but a very important part of American history! Thanks again for sharing! We have at least two Kaufman coverlets in our collection. I haven't found a third, but I wouldn't count it out.
It is the same weaver. I am a curatorial intern here at NMAH working on updating the cataloging of the national woven coverlet collection. Johannes Kaufman was a Mennonite weaver in the Blooming Glen area of Bucks County, PA. The other name is the person for whom the coverlet was woven and likely a fellow Mennonite from the same meeting.

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