1840 - 1860 Sophia Denty's Floral Appliqued Quilt Top


According to family information, shortly after the quilt maker, Sophia Denty, married she moved into a house built in 1729 located in Fairfax, Northern Virginia. The house at the time had an old English garden that Sophia had always admired and it was supposedly the inspiration for the patterns she chose for this quilt top.

Twenty-five 17¼-inch blocks were appliquéd with red and green flowers and leaves in sprays, wreaths, and vases. Embroidery enhances a few of the stems. Two blocks have appliquéd star designs and one has appliquéd pineapples. Plain-weave cottons in plain colors were used. The 8¼-inch border is appliquéd with a meandering vine bearing leaves and buds. The blocks were joined after 1840. The color scheme, red-and-green, and standard designs are typical for many mid-nineteenth-century quilts.

Sophia Barker was born on January 26, 1813, in Fairfax, Virginia. She married James Compton Denty on July 10, 1832. They lived in Northern Virginia with their eight children. Sophia died February 19, 1886 and is buried in the Pohick Church in Accotink, Fairfax, Virginia. Emeline Denty Talbott donated her grandmother’s quilt top to the Smithsonian in 1972.

Date Made: 1840-1860

Maker: Denty, Sophia Barker

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Virginia, Fairfax

Subject: Quilting


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Miss Emeline Denty Talbott

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TE.T15351Catalog Number: T15351Accession Number: 293862

Object Name: quilt top

Physical Description: fabric, cotton (overall material)thread, cotton, silk (overall material)Measurements: overall: 103 in x 103 in; 261 cm x 262 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b4-9dfa-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_556494

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.