Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Star of Lemoyne Quilt

Rebecca Davis
ca. 1846
Made in United States
80 x 94 in. (203.2 x 238.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Andrew Galbraith Carey, 1980
Accession Number:
Not on view
The eight-pointed stars that decorate this quilt's top are pieced of multicolored and patterned fabrics typical of the 18405, including some rainbow prints. In the pieced blocks, the quilting stitches follow the star shapes with parallel lines. In the plain white blocks, the quilting pattern alternates between four tulips and four leaves. The quilt has a cotton-batting filling, and the back is of plain white woven cotton. There are partial English design registration marks on some pieces of fabric.
This Star of Lemoyne quilt, along with two others in the Museum’s collection (1980.498.1 and 1980.498.2) were made by Rebecca Davis, grandmother of the donor, Mrs. Andrew Galbraith Carey. Although this example is not signed, it can be assumed that all of Davis’ quilts in the collection were made sometime around 1846, since her Honeycomb quilt (1980.498.1) is dated to that year and all three share some of the same fabrics. Most of the fabrics sewn into these quilts appear to be English printed cottons, an attribution confirmed by the sections of English design-registration marks visible on a number of the pieces. The most complete mark is found on this quilt on a lavender cotton with star-shaped figures that identifies the fabric’s design as having been registered in 1844.
Of the three Davis quilts in the collection, this is the only one without a central focus. In her other two quilts, the centralized designs are subtle compared with those made earlier in the century (see 23.80.75). This illustrates the mid-nineteenth-century change of fashion from the pieced block quilt with a strong central motif to the repeating block format that is still the most popular quilt-making method today.
[Peck 2015; adapted from Amelia Peck, "American Quilts & Coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," 2007]
Marking: marked on some pieces of fabric: [English registry marks]
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