Friday, 16 December 2011

Botanical Quilts Exhibition - part 2

I have been asked if there was a catalogue for this small exhibit - I am afraid not. All the information below was taken from the information boards inside the glass cases with one or two additions from myself. There are some more pictures on the Charleston Museum's website

I am afraid some of the photographs came out rather dark, but I hope there is sufficient detail for you to see the beauty of the work.

Floral Urn Chintz Applique Quilt Top c. mid-19th century - made by Mary Frampton Townsend Pope

Pope Quilt Top c. mid-19th century

Close-up of left hand border and broderie perse

Close-up of border chintz fabric

Central Urn

Close-up of central urn and bird showing deterioration of fabric in the urn base
A dramatic quilt top particularly with the border fabric with the pink background. The deteriorating fabric at the base of the urn is "...most likely due to the acidic natural dyes used for these colours".

Mary (1804 - 1861), was the daughter of Daniel Townsend jr. and Hepsibah Jenkins of Charleston. Mary married John Jeremiah Pope of the Oaks Plantation in Frogmore (near Beaufort) and the quilt came to the museum in 1988 through her great grand-daughter.

Tree of Life Applique Quilt Top c.1840 - made by Maria Boyd Schultz

The Tree of Life Applique Chintz top c.1840


Another close-up

Close-up of right border

Close-up of bottom left corner - note the giraffe and greek style temples
The tree is composed of a number of different chintz prints pieced together to form the trunk, branches flora and fauna. At the base of the tree are a number of other applied motifs including a giraffe, cavalry officer and palm tree. The border may have been added later since it dates to the 1850's.

Maria Boyd Schultz (1806 - 1883) was the daughter of John Christopher Schultz, a travelling merchant and Susan Flud Cantey of Charleston. Maria was the eldest of nine children, but she never married and the quilt passed down through her sister's family.

Basket of Fruit Chintz Applique Quilt c. 1840 - probably made by Margaret Eliza Darley Seyle Burges

Basket of Fruit Chintz Applique Quilt c. 1840

As above photograph with view of border

Central basket of flowers

Close-up of bird motif

Close-up of border

Close-up of basket motif

This quilt was probably made by the same person who made the Burges Tree of Life Applique Quilt seen in part 1 as it passed down through the same family. The central basket in the centre was a popular motif as it appears on another three quilts in the Charleston Museum collection (not on display). The International Quilt Study Centre and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska also has a quilt with this fruit basket, which is also attributed to Charleston. The quilt is quilted in clamshell pattern throughout with large overlapping arcs in the floral border.

Piece of Chintz fabric c.1835 - Made by John Lowe and Company, England

Piece of Chintz Fabric c. 1835
Whilst originally chintzes were importaed from India, English textile manufacturers started making the fabrics for the home furnishing and quilting markets. This piece still bears the name of John Lowe and company from Shepley Hall and says that they were furniture printers.

Some individual blocks c. 1830's - 1850's

Cactus flower

and.... the chintz applique quilt top that got away...!

The day after visiting the Museum I went out on a trip to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and having recovered from seeing and being so close to alligators (I do not like reptiles and I had no idea that they lived naturally in South Carolina, I always associate them with southern Florida) I took a tour of the house - unfortunately, no photographs were allowed. I kept my eyes peeled though and sighted a reproduction Baltimore Album Quilt and reproduction Eagle applique quilt plus a 1930's feedsack Butterfly quilt. But, in the master bedroom and very hard to see because we were roped off too far away, was what looked to be an 1850's Blazing Star quilt with chintz broderie perse in the corners. I hung around at the end to see if I could get a closer look but it was not to be - soooo frustrating to be so near and yet so far!
Magnolia Plantation
The exhibit at the Charleston Museum will be there until 22nd April 2012, so if you are in the area, do go and see because my photographs do not do the quilts and tops justice.

In my next blog, most probably at the weekend, I will upload my photographs of the quilts that were on display at the DAR Museum in Washington DC, my next port of call.

Thank you for reading my blog!


  1. These are just amazing. Absolutely amazing. It's too bad you couldn't get closer to the last one. Thank you so much for posting all the pictures!!!

  2. What wonderful quilts - an inspiration !! I am so pleased to have seen them - thanks for posting :)

  3. Hi there, I took a few days out and missed all this excitement. These pics are wonderful Fiona, thank you sooooo much for sharing them. I've only made it through the top post and am now going to check out the rest. How fantastic to see these up close
    til soon

  4. I am so happy to have found your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your pics of these amazing quilts. If only we could see all these wonderful exhibits in person.