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Broderie Perse Quilt Viewing

October 3 @ 10:00 am October 7 @ 4:00 pm

This medallion quilt has an approximate age of 1790 to 1810 and was made using the Broderie Perse technique. This term is French for “Persian embroidery”, a style most popular in Europe in the 17th century. The applique embroidery uses printed fabric to create a scene on a background fabric. 

This technique probably traveled from India. This style was made all along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Most are square and very large. This particular example uses combed cotton batting. The background of the chintz is the same color as the fabric to which it is applied. One of the chintz motifs closely resembles a chintz in a collection at Rutgers University, New Jersey. 

The border of brown and light blue is in fragile condition, while the body is soiled but good. The border print is probably natural dyes with iron sulfate mordant to create the brown which accounts for the perished condition.  The colors of the motifs are very muted suggesting they were of natural dyes. The printed fabrics are not finely detailed and may be American manufacture, suggesting a later rather than earlier date within the range. The woven twill binding is consistent with the presumed date range. Backing fabric is a coarse muslin. 

No written history came with this quilt. It arrived unannounced in a shabby dress box from a store that no longer exists in Rome, Georgia. But their family lore holds that it was slave made in South Carolina. Stitching is coarse with what could be homespun thread. The quilting is fine and close suggesting cotton as a filter. 

This quilt is in fragile condition and is only displayed once a year. Museum Admission is $5.00 per person.


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The museum will be closed June 28th-July 5th. The Salley Mavor and Tommie Freeman show will open July 6th.

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