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Q8960 Silk and Silk Velvet Victorian Crazy Quilt

c.1885
60 x 60 (152.4 x 152.4 cm)
SOLD

The 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition was a big event in Victorian society. One of the most popular exhibits was the Japanese pavilion with its fascinating crazed ceramics and asymmetrical art. Many historians believe the origin of the Victorian Crazy Quilt was inspired by the majestic Japanese screens seen for the first time at the exposition. During the height of the Victorian era, homes seemingly could never have enough embellishment. Early quilts made in the crazy quilt style were show pieces, often made to decorate the parlor. Silks, silk velvets, wools and chenille fabrics, along with silk, cotton, wool, gold metallic and chenille threads of every color, were used to incorporate names, dates, pictures, and a wide assortment of symbols. Although crazy style quilts may appear haphazard they were carefully planned.

This gorgeous example embodies the best of what emerged from this magnificent era of over-the-top quilts; dense embroidery of every imaginable size, shape and design covers the high quality and rich variety of silks and silk velvets produced in the 1880's before the onset of large scale manufacturing of more affordable silks for the masses starting in the early 1890's.

Oil paintings on velvet and silk, metallic thread embroidery, 3 dimensional ribbon flowers, floral sprays, photographs on silk, boy with umbrella, fancy initials, chenille goldenrod in the diagonal red silk velvet sash, birds, cattails, egrets and little girls in bonnets are some of the various figures that accompany extraordinary embroidery stitches of every color, size and design.

A perfect size for hanging! The backing is gorgeous wine silk with colorful pom pom ties - see detail image. This quilting masterpiece is in perfect, original condition. Please contact us if you'd like to see this beauty on approval in the privacy of your home.