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Extraordinary Compass Sunburst Red Chintz Medallion C1840s Antique Quilt 7-9spi For Sale
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robably a completely original design, this grand early pieced medallion quilt with its massive center sunburst and satellite Variable Stars just radiates warmth and energy.
The strong contrasts of the oversized center and its ring of pieced stars immediately command all the attention, but that wonderful border of deep, oversized dogtooth chintz spikes really burnishes its early 19th-century credentials and lends an exciting early flavor. Lavishly, densely hand-quilted, the unique find really benefits from excellent workmanship throughout.
I date this spectacular and unique folk art piece to the 1840's or earlier. It was collected in Blairsville, GA in the Blue Ridge Mountains area but is without any further provenance.
The quilt measures about 75 x 80 inches. The center round is about 33 inches across, the stars 7 1/2 inches square and the dogtooth pyramids each about 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.
The hand-quilting is lovely, with 7-9 little stitches to the inch, counting on the top side of the quilt only. The center and stars are beautifully overall quilted (with further divisions inside that center round) in 1/4-inch double rods spaced 1/2-inch apart in the center and 3/4-inch in the blocks. The open white squares are quilted in 5/8inch diagonal square grid. The pieced pyramids of those oversized dogtooth-style borders conceal the lushest quilting of all, with on-point squares quilted in 1/2-inch square grid, framed by tiny triangles quilted in dense 1/4-inch diagonals. Finally, the solid outer band of border is quilted in big triangular tranches of 1/2-inch diagonal lines that swap orientation for a woven look.
Backing, Binding & Batting
The backing is a white solid with soft staining, but invaluable for how beautifully it showcases the intricate quilting, much of which is overshadowed on the quilt's front.
The narrow 3/16-inch self-binding is rolled from back and hand-stitched tight. It shows staining and toning but is in impressively good structural shape with just minor thinned spots and small holes.
The batting is thin, supple and even.
The quilt's condition is soft, supple, clean and strong. The Turkey Red calico at the center has the familiar popping and fabric holes wherever there were tiny black details so inevitable if these early fabrics are washed. There are small holes throughout the round but the wear is most pronounced where the fabric was stressed along the fold lines.
The coloration of the chintz border is ideal to camouflage it, but up close you'll find minor surface wear and tiny little losses here and there throughout. In the body of the quilt there is light staining, toning and spotting in brown tones, but it feels quite minimal given the quilt's considerable age.
Finally, just now I discovered two tiny spots of white paint, which only adds to my suspicion that this quilt hasn't been valued for what it is in a very long while. The most recent owner was proud to have washed it and I didn't have the heart to ask, but I feel quite sure it was also treated to a tumble-dry given its very soft, supple feel.
Image 2 of 24 24 images with captions tell this quilt's story. Click this image to move through (or type b or n). Touch up and down hands at right to scroll through all 24 images.
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