Parker-Ellis Family, geometric double-cloth coverlet, c.1790-1820; Ohio

Parker-Ellis Family, geometric double-cloth coverlet, c.1790-1820; Ohio

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This geometric double-cloth coverlet features a "Four Snowball" centerfield pattern with "Pine Tree” borders on three sides. It passed through at least five generations of Parker-Ellis Family before being donated to the National Museum of American History’s collections. Woven between the years 1790-1820, the coverlet was given as a wedding gift or as part of the bridal trousseau for the wedding of Daniel Ellis and Eliza Parker on January 6, 1820 in Butler County, Ohio. In 1847, the coverlet was given to son, Theodore Ellis when he married is wife, Mary A. in Montgomery County, Indiana. Theodore, in turn, presented it to his daughter Amanda Ellis Talbott on the occasion of her wedding in 1879. Estella Maude Talbott Lang received the coverlet in 1907 when she married, and the donor, Iona Long received the coverlet at her mother’s death in 1956. Family legend held that Eliza Parker’s mother wove the double-cloth coverlet for her daughter’s trousseau, and while that is very possible, more research is needed to determine where Eliza was born and who her parents were. What can be determined is that this geometric double-cloth coverlet was cherished by a family for over 150 years and made its way across the United States with each successive generation.
As this coverlet is double-cloth there are two sets of warps and wefts that change position interlocking the two cloths and creating pockets, lending to the alternative name for double-cloth, pocket cloth. There is an indigo-dyed blue wool warp and weft as well as a white, unbleached cotton warp and weft. The cotton has yellowed with age. The yarn count is 22x22. The snowball pattern with pine tree border is a ubiquitous Northern European pattern designed to create a decorative effect and provide a heavy and durable textile. The coverlet is in relatively fragile condition and the center seam is coming apart at the both the top and bottom. There is some fraying and missing sections along the top and bottom border as well. This coverlet has no fringe.
Currently not on view
Object Name
coverlet, geometric
date made
place made
United States: Ohio, Butler
Physical Description
geometric (overall style)
double weave (overall production method/technique)
pine tree, snowballs (border pattern)
cotton, wool (center material)
blue, white (overall color)
overall: 80 in x 71 1/2 in; 203.2 cm x 181.61 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Ms. Iona J. Lang
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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