Thursday, April 18, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday : Life With Louise* - The Coverlet

*Mary Louise Vaughan Dallis kept several photo albums and scrapbooks.  They were filled with family photos and scenes of life in LaGrange, Georgia between 1900-1935.

Baby on coverlet, taken about 1910

I kept being drawn to this photo whenever I browsed through Louise’s photo albums.  Perhaps it was because of that sweet baby who I think  is one of my father’s three sisters.  Sometimes it was the bonnet or the woven willow chair that caught my attention.

Suddenly I had an “Ah-Ha” moment.  I recognized the coverlet that the baby was sitting upon.  It was upstairs in my attic!

Perkinson coverlet, woven in the late 1800s

This coverlet has been in the Perkinson family for many years.  The tan and ivory coverlet consists of two woven strips, 36” x 82” that are sown together along one edge, forming a 72” x 82” coverlet.  The story I always heard was that the wool coverlet had been woven for the Perkinson family by an itinerant weaver who was traveling in the Cherokee County, Georgia area in the late 1800s.  

Herrs Antiques has an interesting history about woven coverlets, What You Always Wanted to Know about Coverlets but Were Afraid to Ask.  For additional information take a look at The University of Arizona monograph which provides a history and photographs of many of the traditional patterns used by the weavers.

Since the coverlet is estimated to be between 125-140 years old, it is showing signs of wear, so much that I will be researching how to properly care for it without causing any further damage.  I’m just glad my mother and I didn’t cut it up years ago to make throw pillows or toss it aside as rag!

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