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This Jacquard, Biederwand coverlet features a large scalloped central medallion with basket-weave centerfield and eagle, "Washington," inscriptions and portraits in each corner. There are stylized floral borders along the top and sides. Horizontal color banding in fuchsia, teal, peach and yellow wool singles create the pattern, and thick and thin cotton warps and wefts form an integrated ground structure. The design, arrangement of motifs, and color choices likely date this coverlet to 1875-1900, particularly during the time of the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The synthetic colors, sparse use of wool, design, and commemorative theme lead us to believe this coverlet is an early Colonial Revival coverlet made popular by the 1876 Centennial. The wool is wearing away in places leaving slack in the fine cotton warp threads. There is no center seam and the weaving is extremely even suggesting that this coverlet woven in a mill on a power loom rather than by a craftsperson in a workshop. The Centennial Exposition was an important time in the history of the coverlet. The exhibitions featured pattern books and antique coverlets sparking a revival in both the figured Jacquard coverlets and the older geometric and overshot designs. This exhibition helped inspire both the Colonial Revival trend, which we still live with today and the Craft Revival which breathed new life into American hand-weaving and craft production. This coverlet is in fair condition. There is some wear to the wool yarns, which are very loosely spun and the rolled hems at the top and bottom edges are coming undone. Because this coverlet is both unsigned and undated it makes it almost impossible to assign a manufacturer or precise date.
Currently not on view
jacquard (overall production method/technique)
double cloth (overall production method/technique)