H. & A. Seifert; Jacquard coverlet; tied-Beiderwand; 1851; Pennsylvania

H. & A. Seifert; Jacquard coverlet; tied-Beiderwand; 1851; Pennsylvania

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H. & A. Seifert manufactured this Jacquard, red, white, blue and green, tied Beiderwand coverlet in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1851. The coverlet has no center seam indicating the use of a broadloom and has self-fringe on 3 sides. The centerfield pattern features to different stylized “Double Rose” motifs arranged in a typical carpet medallion pattern. The side borders depict “Urn and Rose” motifs and the bottom border features an even more elaborate version of this pattern. The woven inscription found in each corner beneath two trees and flowering rose reads, “WOVEN SUPERIOR/ TIGHT WORK/MANUFACTURED ON/ THE LATEST FASHION BY/ H.&A. SEIFERT/MECHANISBURG/ CUMBERLAND COUNTY/ PENNSYLVANIA AD 1851. The weavers used 2-ply, S-twist, Z-spun cotton for the warp and indigo-dyed Z-spun cotton singles as binding warp. The same 2-ply cotton was used in the weft along with 2-ply, S-twist, Z-spun wool. The coverlet measures 103.5 inches by 93.5 inches.
H. & A. Seifert, the manufacturer of this coverlet, was a partnership between brothers, Andrew (1820-1900) and Henry Seifert (1823-1905). More research is needed into whether this partnership was simply between two artisan hand-weavers or if the brothers were investing their capital into the establishment of a factory. The brothers were born in York City, York County, Pennsylvania. They established their business in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The partnership was extant at least between the years 1843-1851, as there are extant signed and dated coverlets that fall within that range. There was a third brother, Emanuel (b. 1830) who was recorded at living with Andrew in the 1850 Federal Census. It is quite likely that as the youngest brother, his older brothers trained him as a coverlet weaver, and he was likely working in the manufactory where this coverlet was made. H. & A. Seifert was dissolved in 1851, and Seifert and Co. established. It is almost certain that Emanuel joined into the partnership with his older brothers. The Seifert coverlets and the evolving business relationships these brothers engaged in tell and show how rural American craftspeople related to technological advancement and new business models.
Currently not on view
Object Name
coverlet, figured
date made
H. & A. Seifert
Seifert, Henry
place woven
United States: Pennsylvania, Mechanicsburg
Physical Description
jacquard (overall production method/technique)
tied-Beiderwand (overall production method/technique)
wool (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
overall: 103 1/2 in x 93 1/2 in; 262.89 cm x 237.49 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mary B. C. Shuman
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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