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Historical Object of the Week: 1880 Silk Quilt

A weekly look at some of Concord’s most historical items.

 

Welcome to Concord Patch’s newest feature, Object of the Week. Each week we will present an artifact from the collection that speaks to Concord’s storied history. We welcome comments, memories and suggestions for future items.

Whether it is a small cradle quilt passed down in the family of a patriot of the American Revolution, a large quilt commemorating the 1975 Bicentennial of that war, or a complex geometric pattern crafted in silk like this one, each quilt in the Concord Museum collection has a story to tell about the makers, the communities they lived in, and the era in which the quilt was made.

During the Victorian era, the log cabin style quilt became popular and women on the forefront of fashion often chose to make these geometric patterns out of rich silks.  Silk quilts were often used as table or piano covers for display purposes rather than on beds.

The likely maker of this Silk Quilt, Ann Louisa Timothy Gleason (born 1845), was the wife of a wealthy Vermont merchant, Louis Pomeroy Gleason.  She made the quilt around 1880 and later gave it to her granddaughter on the occasion of her marriage. The quilt was donated to the Concord Museum in 1961.

To learn more about quiltmaking, read Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth, by Lynne Zacek Bassett, available at the Concord Bookshop.

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