Sunday, November 20, 2011
Miniature Chintz Center Panel Roses
These were originally block printed corners of cotton scarves,an important element of traditional Provencal dress turn of the 19th century.
Both panels are taken from a book of Paper Impressions owned by my friend Judy Schwender, Curator of Collections/Registrar at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY.
Once the blocks were cut for a design, the first printing was often on paper as a 'strike off' or check on the pattern. These paper impressions were saved as a record of a mill's production or used to register the design at the Patent Office.
During my visit to Winterthur last May, I was able to see a miniature quilt with a tiny Chintz Center Panel. ( see page 81 of 'Quilts in a Material World' by Linda Eaton). I was captivated! What was the origin of this small printed square?... furnishing goods (the texture of the square did not appear 'heavy') or dress goods?
My second day at Winterthur was spent in the library with sample books. There...in the last 1/2 hour of the day, in the last book....I found the answer!!..."Print sample book, 1795". In this slim volume filled with paper impression I found the answer to my question! Corner motifs on square cotton scarves or "mouchoirs". In several of the first pages there were corner squares of a scarf border.