Quilt, Four Eagles pattern


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In commemoration of the United States’ one hundredth birthday, a great celebratory exhibition took place in Philadelphia in 1876, and proved influential on the arts of all types. A particular type of Centennial-era quilt was made in Pennsylvania that featured American eagles, which were extremely popular design motifs beginning in 1782, when the Great Seal of the United States was adopted by the Continental Congress. Like this example, such quilts include four eagles, one in each corner, their wings outspread and their heads all facing center. Four Eagle quilts with white backgrounds are most often found in the counties of central Pennsylvania, especially Union, Snyder, Centre, and Clinton Counties. Quilts in this pattern with orange or yellow grounds as in this example were made in counties with larger Pennsylvania German populations, such as Lebanon, Berks, and Lancaster. The majority of dated examples are from the 1880s, but quilts in this pattern were made through the 1920s.

Quilt, Four Eagles pattern, Cotton, American

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