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Patten, Davenport and Wheelock Family Coat of Arms
about 1790-1810
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Ruth Patten , American, 1764 - 1850
Embroidered; silk and metallic thread on a satin-woven silk ground
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 22 x 18 1/4in. (55.9 x 46.4cm)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Gallery Copy: The Patten School in Hartford was operated by three sisters, Sarah, Ruth, Jr., and Mary Patten, assisted by their mother, Ruth Wheelock Patten. Ruth, Jr. probably made this coat of arms for her family and as a prototype for student projects. She presented her family lineage unconventionally, with three separate crests representing her father’s name (Patten), and both her mother’s family (Wheelock) and her maternal grandmother’s family (Davenport). This design diverges from official heraldic protocols. The raised embroidery, seen in the helmet of the Patten crest and the dove above it, is a technique that appears frequently in other pieces attributed to the Patten School. It is otherwise rare in American work of the eighteenth or early-nineteenth centuries.
Description: Patten, Wheelock and Davenport family coat of arms worked in shades of gold, cream, tan, dark and medium green, blue, blue-green, red, and pink silk threads, and silver and gold metallic threads, on a cream satin-woven silk ground, using a long and short stitch and other stitches. At the top is a white dove clutching a banner in its beak with the gold words "GOD is our Leader". To the left of the dove is a small tapered shield with a rampant lion above and the name "WHEELOCK" below. To the right of the cove is a small shield with a dragon's head above and the name "DAVENPORT" below. Below the dove is a knight's helmet at the top of a shield. The shield, sewn in silver metallic thread, contains a field of small black fleur de lis. Below the shield are three banners, containing the embroidered inscriptions "In the Cross", "Is my Hope.", "PATTEN". The large shield is located between two stalks of laurel that cross at the bottom. At the bottom is a garland of roses and green leaves on a vine. The dove and knight's helmet are stitched in relief with a padded satin stitch. The silk ground has linen strips stitched at all four edges; the linen is tacked to a wooden board. The coat of arms is surrounded by a black mat (later addition) and is located inside a gold-painted wooden frame (replaced) with molding at the interior edge (some molding is missing). Stitches: The principal stitch on the sampler is the long and short stitch; it alsoincludes padded satin, encroaching satin, and french knot. Condition: The silk ground is shattered at the top edge, with additional splits and tears scattered around the embroidery on the lower half of the coat of arms. The ground is warped slightly. The mat is a later addition. The frame is replaced; some molding is missing from the interior front edges of the frame.
Inscription: There are illegible, hand-written pencil inscriptions on the back of the coat of arms.
Object Number: 1992.68.1
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