1725 - 1750 Scovill Family's Quilted Petticoat

1725 - 1750 Scovill Family's Quilted Petticoat

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This yellow-gold silk quilted petticoat came from the Scovill family of Connecticut. The petticoat has a woven wool lining and a carded wool interlining. The elaborate quilting pattern included both flora and fauna. Animals and birds that include lions, horses, peacocks, snakes, boars, squirrels, roosters, a stag, a unicorn, dragons, a frog, butterflies, insects, and birds are detailed in back stitch which forms a dotted line of tiny stitches on the silk.
Possibly the inspiration for the motifs was Thomas Boreman’s “A Description of More than 300 Animals…” originally published in 1730. The floral images seem to be used as a filler in and around the fantastic motifs creating an overall whimsical design.
Petticoats such as this were designed to display fine quilting. With the wool lining and interlining adding warmth, they were probably much appreciated in New England winters.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Petticoat, Quilted
date made
1725 - 1750
place made
United States: Connecticut
Physical Description
fabric, silk, wool (overall material)
thread, silk (overall material)
overall: 35 in x 98 in; 89 cm x 249cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Credit Line Restricted
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Clothing & Accessories
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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