1841 - 1844 Mary Taylor's Album Quilt Top


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.

Date Made: 1841-1844

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Norristown

Subject: Quilting


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Textiles, Cultures & Communities, Domestic Furnishings, Textiles, Quilts


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Barbara C. Donohue

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TE.T14870Catalog Number: T14870Accession Number: 282796

Object Name: quilt top

Physical Description: fabric, cotton (overall material)thread, cotton, silk (overall material)Measurements: overall: 82 in x 75 in; 208 cm x 191 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-bcbf-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_556471

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