Cotton and wool; Doublecloth, woven on a hand-loom with a
98 3/8 x 75 in. (249.9 x 190.5 cm)
Mrs. Roger F. Brunschwig Fund, 1988
Not on view
This dark blue wool and undyed cotton double cloth coverlet is woven in two panels and seamed at the center. Floral and star motifs typically found in Haring's work decorate the central field. The left and right borders have images of eagles with outspread wings alternating with vases of flowers and pairs of birds in trees. From left to right along each panel of the top and bottom borders, there is a rooster standing on an egg, the inscription cartouche, and an eagle. The Haring trademark of a rose with four leaves on its stem appears in each corner block. There is natural fringe along the bottom edge.
David D. Haring (1800-1889) is the best documented of the New Jersey coverlet weavers. The Museum owns three coverlets from the Bergen County area where Haring worked: this example, signed by him (1988.127), one attributed to him (1989.30), and one made by a weaver familiar with Haring's work (1982.366), or perhaps even trained by him. Haring was born in New Jersey and was a member of a large extended Dutch family that settled in the Bergen County area in the eighteenth century. His work and that of the few other known Bergen County weavers of the period differ in appearance from the coverlets produced during the same years by New York and Pennsylvania weavers. Bergen County coverlet motifs, which are derived from a combination of traditional Dutch designs and symbols of the new American Republic, are quite distinctive, and the coverlets are always double cloth in structure. In addition, it seems that they were woven in only two color variations: dark indigo blue wool and undyed cotton (or occasionally undyed linen) or, in the case of the less common all-wool coverlet, dark and light blue indigo-dyed wool. Haring was the most prolific coverlet weaver in the area, and it is probable that the other weavers who adopted his characteristic motifs either wove with him in his workshop or were trained by him and then went out on their own. The best-known weavers of related coverlets are I. Christie (whose early pieces are practically identical to Haring's) and Nathaniel Young.
Works exist from the years 1832 to 1835 that are signed with Haring's name, initials, or his trademark corner block depicting a rose with four leaves. This Haring coverlet is signed "(David D Haring) TAPPAN". The word TAPPAN that Haring inscribed on some of his works with his name refers to Tappan Road in Harington Township, New Jersey, where he lived, rather than to the neighboring town of Tappan in Rockland County, New York. This piece was made in 1834 for Sarah Ann Outwater, who was born on March 27, 1812. She was the daughter of Dr. Jacob Outwater and Elizabeth Haring Outwater and was David D. Haring's second cousin once removed. Although the coverlet may have been meant to be part of her wedding outfit or trousseau, it was not until' four-and-a-half years after it was woven that she married James Verbryck on June 24, 1838.
[Peck 2015; adapted from Amelia Peck, "American Quilts & Coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," 2007]
Inscription: woven in four cartouches, forward and reverse: SARAH ANN / OUTWATER / JAN 14 1834; woven in four corners, forward and reverse: (David D / Haring) / TAPPAN