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Candlewick Bed Covering
1820
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Thankful Stanton , American, 1774 - 1861
Embroidery; cotton yarn (two-ply), cotton thread and silk threads on a plain-woven linen ground
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 110 1/2 x 102 1/2in. (280.7 x 260.4cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Norman R. Spring
Gallery Copy: Candlewick embroidery is one of several types of white-on-white embroidery that became popular in the early nineteenth century. It is distinguished by the use of a thick, loosely twisted cotton yarn, resembling the cotton wicks used in candles. The yarns create a sculptural effect, achieved with less effort than a stuffed quilt. Relatively few examples of candlewick embroidery are dated, making this bedspread a valuable document, with the inscription and date at bottom. It is also an artful design, with some elements outlined and others solidly filled (the bunches of grapes, bases of blossoms, and occasional leaves).
Description: Candlewick bed covering, consisting of a single layer of plain-woven linen decorated with embroidered two-ply cotton yarn; the bed covering is embroidered with the name "Thankful Williams" at the top and the date "1820" at the bottom. The candlewick decoration consists of a basket of flowers in the center; large fanciful flowers extend from the basket, covering a large area in the center of the bedcovering. At each corner is a cornucopia, also with large flowers and fruit extending onto the bedcovering. Each side of the bed covering has a border of embroidered leaves. The plain-woven cotton ground is constructed of two panels that are hand-stitched together at the center; the selvedge of each panel is at the center of the bed covering. All four edges of the ground are folded under and finished with a whip stitch; the embroidered border extends onto the 7/8-inch hem. The candlewick design is formed with a running stitch; additional stitches include seed and darning. The letters "LTi" are hand-stitched in pink silk threads onto the lower left corner of the bedcovering; these letters are formed using cross stitch (over two). Condition: The ground and embroidery have stained in very specific patterns: across the top edge, up and down each panel, and in an arch around the lower left and right corners. The ground has scattered rust spots and small areas of splits and tears. Small areas of the ground are repaired with darning stitches, specifically at the bottom left center edge.
Object Number: 1959.53.1
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