Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eye Candy from Old Sturbridge Village

On Friday afternoon, attendees of A Stitcher's Hideaway had a very special treat.  Old Sturbridge Village staff members Rebecca Beal, Collections Manager, and Jean Cotino, Coordinator of Households, gave us a  presentation on the use of everyday objects that were used to express American patriotism.  Rebecca remarked that common patriotic symbols used on textiles and ceramics included the eagle, our flag, George Washington, and Lady Liberty.

Here are a few of the ladies with Jean admiring some of the pieces.  All of the pieces celebrate American patriotism.  Surprisingly, the plates were made in Great Britain specifically for sale in America.



Look at this incredible quilt.  The unusual shape at the bottom is to accommodate the legs of a four-poster bed.


Here is a close-up view of some of the wonderful old quilt fabrics.


And here is a close-up of the center block with printed pictures of  the first three US presidents, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and John Adams, followed by the Declaration of Independence.  Notice the eagle at the top of the quilt block.



Below is the center of another quilt.  I'm sorry that I neglected to get a photo of the entire quilt.


Next is a roller-printed textile.  Notice the flag on the far right.


Memorials to George Washington were quite "fashionable"  following his death in 1799.  This needlework mourning picture shows Lady Liberty holding an American flag with a black eagle.  She is leaning on a pedestal with an urn. The writing on the pedestal reads: "Sacred to the memory  of G. WASHINGTON--Obt. Dec. 14, 1799--AE T. 68 YEARS."



Here is another memorial needlework honoring George Washington.




Here Jean and Rebecca are holding a beautiful dress that would have been worn to a festive celebration.


Under her dress, perhaps the lady would have worn a corset like this one.


Here is a detail showing some of the embroidery.


A busk would have been inserted down the middle so that the lady could maintain a very erect posture.  This one is out of ivory and has scrimshaw designs.


Of course, the men also had special clothing for festive occasions.  Look at this beautifully embroidered vest.




I hope you've enjoyed these glimpses into a small bit of Old Sturbridge's incredible needlework collection.

10 comments:

diamondc said...

History is so beautiful how lucky are you all to have witnessed such a group of beautiful items from so far ago.
Thank-you for sharing with us.
Blessings
Catherine

Vickie said...

Incredible is correct! Just fantastic. Thank you for taking pictures.

Mugwump Woolies said...

Wonderful early textiles! The hours it must have taken to create such lovely tributes! Thanks for sharing these treasures with us.
Robyn

Margaret said...

Oh my! Thank you for showing us all the lovely treasures -- what a treat for the eyes! I love seeing everything. Fantastic!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos of the treasures at Old Sturbridge.

Cathy B said...

Thanks for sharing these photos Ellen. What an opportunity to get to see so many of these pieces that celebrate patriotism!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Oh what fun things to see! I just love it when history comes alive right before your eyes. Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us today.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

What a beautiful display! I can't imagine wearing a corset with boning to keep you up straight! No wonder women fainted all the time! Thanks so much for sharing - I really enjoyed the exhibit!

samplerlover said...

Although I'm not from your Country, I always find looking at such beautiful pieces very enjoyable. Some really lovely pieces there. I often wonder if the ivory busks would have been uncomfortable. They would have the perfect posture. The scrimshaw on this one is lovely.

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

Oh mais que de merveilles !
bisous bisous de FRANCE