Friday, July 18, 2014

The Gift of an Antique Coverlet

Gentle Friends, I wanted to wrap up the week with a wonderful surprise gift made to me by a dear friend.  Last weekend our friends, who lives down in Monterrey, came up for a break for the heat - since we hover in the low 70's upper 60's a little cool air did her some good.  She has been a friends of Rico's for years, from when they were very young and living down in Merced, in the San Joaquin valley.  

She has visited lots of times before and usually the most we do is exchange books, we both like reading Royal biographies and stories,  she borrows from me and I borrow from her.  This time while we were all sitting around she said, I brought a present for you.  I was dumbfounded, she said "its an old blanket that I have no real use for".  I was thinking fast, what to do with an old blanket......  then out from the plastic bag she brought it in came a gorgeous hand woven overshot coverlet.  My jaw hit the ground.  She unfolded this wonderful thing looking for the hand written tag her great Aunt attached, in 1969, giving the provenance and names attached to its earliest history.  I couldn't believe it - the tag dated it to before 1850 and probably to Virginia as the family moved west to Tennessee then and it came west with them.  Here are a couple of snaps......

I spread it out on my Great-Grandmothers bed to show how it looks - and it looks super de duper!!  and here's a closeup....

....  I didn't leave it on the bed but folded it up and put it away.  Th coverlet is made up of three woven strips sew together length wise - that are about 30" wide by 102" long.  There is next to no damage, except a little fraying here and there on the edges and one of the corners, other than that it is in super condition.  

Now, here's the question....  is there a repository of these coverlets or a place one can get more info and try and date it??  Anyone out there know anything about these or how to care and display such a treasure???  it has virtually no odor, its a little musty from living in a trunk but that's about all there is going on with it, I think if it was to hang outside in the fresh air that would dissipate quickly.
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That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!  Have a great weekend!

Take care,
edgar

30 comments:

Delania said...

What a wonderful gift you recieved. I love old coverlets but is it hard to trace where they came from unless the weaver wove in their personal information. You have a treasure that needs to be on display for you to enjoy!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Awesome Gift-looks great on bed. There is an American Museum of Coverlets--they might be able to help with more info--they have a website

Carmen Sutton said...

Wow what a treasure you will be the envy of many!!! There is a coverlet museum in Pa here is the link http://www.coverletmuseum.org/events.htm. good luck with your search, let us know how it turns out.

Vicki said...

Wow, Edgar, what a beautiful gift. It looks lovely on that bed. Unfortunately, I'm sure the best way to preserve it is to not use it :{ On the other hand, it was made to be used! I hope someone can give you some good advice for learning more about caring for it.

Nancy said...

What a treasure! The pattern and colors are so pretty, and it does look nice on the bed (which is also beautiful)! I have a vintage crazy quilt top that I use as a curtain in the dining room - hung with rings and clips so it won't get damaged. A giant wallhanging would be pretty too!

Anonymous said...

I quilt and I always tell the people that I give them to "Please use it". The coverlet looks wonderful on the bed...use it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Edgar, that's beautiful! What a wonderful gift. Im sure she was happy to give it to someone who will really treasure it. As Samplings From Spring Creek said, you can try the Museumof American Coverlets. It's in Bedford, PA. You could also try the Mueum of American Folk Art in NYC. I think it's difficult when they're not signed but since you know approximately where it came from and the family maybe you can trace it back. Enjoy it and let us know if you find out anything! Nancy in NY

Vera said...

What a wonderful gift Edgar - lucky you!! And, yes, the Museum in Bedford, PA should be able to help (I've visited the museum and it is an amazing place). Good luck with the search -- a fun mystery for sure.

CarolG said...

I love old coverlets and own many reproductions but no actual antiques. There is a company in Red Lion, PA that produces the reproductions for sale and for films/historic buildings, etc. They are Family Heirloom Weavers - they might be able to help you - they have a website and I've spoken to them and they are very knowledgible.

valerie said...

Wow, what an incredible gift. The coverlet is gorgeous! It's been loved and treasured for it to be in such wonderful condition considering its age.

cucki said...

It's a very sweet gift :)
Big hugs x

Casa Pearl said...

There is always a section in Country Living magazine where they appraise people's items so this might be a resource. It says to visit "countryliving.com/whatisit to submit your finds for appraisal.

Margaret said...

OMG, lucky you! The coverlet is absolutely stunning -- as is the bed! I was going to mention the coverlet museum too, but I see someone else has mentioned it. Good luck with your research. Enjoy the gift!

Paisley said...

What a beautiful gift! It looks so perfect on your great grandmother's bed!

Denise said...

As you know, this is a very special
coverlet - don't pack it up!
Use it! Put it on a bed as a full coverlet or, fold it at the foot of a bed. Whatever you do, be sure and
enjoy it. When my mother-in-law died at age 100, we found so many gifts
that she was 'saving'....and never enjoyed. I would like to see you really enjoy this.

Carolyn Boutilier said...

What a fantastic gift. Treasure it. I have 2 antique coverlets and really love them,
Carolyn b

Gabi said...

What a wonderful gift you received. Very, very gorgeous!
Greetings from Germany

Glenna said...

I weigh in with others who say "use it!" It was meant to be used and appreciated. I use my nice silverware and my good crystal for the same reason. Otherwise, someday I'll pass away and it will go unused to someone else. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift.

Synthia said...

Your coverlet is spectacularly beautiful. What a wonderful gift!! It's a wonderful thing that your friend knew enough to give it to a person who would appreciate, treasure and care for it.

Synthia said...

What a spectacularly beautiful coverlet. It's wonderful that your friend knew to give it to someone who would love, enjoy and care for it.

Jodi S said...

What a beautiful gift! How lucky are you? Love these old coverlets. What gorgeous colors.

Barb said...

What an amazing gift. I have 2 antique coverlets. I would think just airing it out might be the answer. If not, I would definitely seek professional help form a textile expert. I noticed that people have suggested a few of them in the comments. I would not do anything myself. This type of coverlet can often be dated even before 1850.

CathieJ said...

What a wonderful gift. Your coverlet is beautiful. I have seen many of these in Williamsburg, Va. Perhaps you could start your information search there. The Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum might be of some help.

Kevin said...

Wow! What an absolutely beautiful gift, Edgar! That was very kind of your friend to paas on an heirloom like this. I know she gave it to the right person as you treasure these objects and take exceptional care with them. Enjoy!

Sharon said...

Oh my goodness, what a touching gift! I would love to hear the stories this beauty could tell. The only advice I have is to contact the Smithsonian. (I'm not kidding...seriously when I inherited a quilt that my great, great grandma had made, it was suggested to me that I call them. Took me a while to get to the "right person" to speak with, but their help was fabulous.)

Marie said...

Gorgeous coverlet...and a beautiful bed I might add!

Usually at the larger Quilt Shows, like International Quilt Festival, there is at least on vendor who will sell quilt racks/display cases.

Here is an example of a nice display case that I have seen at shows:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlawlesshardware/2984936674/



Julie said...

Amazing gift, it's beautiful.

Taelle said...

What an amazing gift! It looks gorgeous. (and it was funny to imagine you thinking about what to do with an old blanket)

Melody said...

What a beautiful coverlet! It's nice she gave it to someone who would appreciate it's value. I'm sure you will find answers from the comments that have been left before mine.

It probably would not be a bad thing to let it lay spread out on a bed instead of being folded. (you could always cover it with a sheet if you are afraid of damage).

Catherine said...

Simply a beautiful treasure!