Chintz Applique

Chintz Applique

Artist: Made by individuals enslaved by Caleb Lindsey 
Type: Appliqued chintz fabric, linen, cotton
Year: circa 1838
Size/Dimensions: 104 x 103 in.
Origin: Gala Fund Purchase honoring Peg Newton Smith
Accession Number: 95.53

According to family lore, individuals enslaved by the Caleb Lindsey family made this quilt for the 1838 marriage of Rebecca Brilhart to Caleb Lindsey Jr. In 1840, Pulaski County Census records indicate that Caleb Lindsey Sr. enslaved eight women and employed two free black individuals.

This rare chintz appliqué medallion quilt generally predates pieced block style quilts that became popular in the third quarter of the 19th century. Chintz appliqué quilt tops were made by cutting figures like flowers or animals from glazed, (in this case roller-printed) cotton chintz fabric and stitching them to a piece of foundation fabric. American and European quilts made before 1840 were often organized around a central medallion design that featured piecework or appliqué, or both.

The central focus of this quilt is a geometric piecework and appliqué design framed by multiple pieced borders. By 1850, whole-cloth and appliqué techniques were almost completely eclipsed by the emerging popularity of repeating block style quilts in America.

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Chintz Applique