1830 - 1850 Stenciled Child's Counterpane

1830 - 1850 Stenciled Child's Counterpane

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Stenciling was popular as a decorative technique in the early 19th century. This example, possibly made for a crib, is not quilted, but has some linen cloth and thin cotton wadding between the cotton pieced top and linen lining. At least 13 different templates were used in different combinations to create an overall design. A label, now missing, written in the late 19th century read: “George Jones infant quilt Ohio.”
Sixty-three 6-inch blocks, alternately plain and stenciled, comprise the top. One motif, a tree with fruit, appears on six blocks, three on either side. Other stenciled motifs, in green, blue, rose, and yellow, are more randomly placed. It is bound with two different roller-printed, ¾-inch floral strips folded over the edges.
The bright, cheerful stenciled motifs found on this child’s counterpane are similar to those found on floor cloths, furniture, and other home accessories of the period. The stenciling technique, using paints, brushes, and templates, was a convenient way to bring color and interest to everyday objects.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
fabric, cotton, linen (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
overall: 53 in x 40 in; 134 cm x 102 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Robert Stephens
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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