1790 - 1810 Copp Family's "Nine-patch" Pieced Quilt

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This quilt is one of three late-eighteenth-and-early-nineteenth-century quilts that were donated in the 1890s by John Brenton Copp of Stonington, Connecticut. All are a part of an extensive gift of household textiles, costume items, furniture, and other objects that belonged to his family from 1750 to 1850. The Copp Collection continues to provide insights into New England family life of that period.
The pieced blocks on this quilt, a variation of the “Nine-patch” pattern, are each made of one of nine different block-printed cottons. These are symmetrically arranged according to the particular print, and alternate with plain white blocks. The quilting pattern consists of parallel diagonal lines on the pieced blocks contrasting with 1½-inch shells on the white blocks, all quilted at 7 stitches per inch.
An analysis of the household textile collection donated by John Brenton Copp can be found in the Copp Family Textiles by Grace Rogers Cooper (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1971). In the book the author summarizes the family background. “The first Copp to reach America was William, a 26-year-old London shoemaker who in 1635 set out for the Massachusetts Colony on the good ship Blessing. He landed east of Boston and became the first owner of Copp’s Hill in north Boston . . . . William’s son Jonathan established the Connecticut branch of the family around Stonington later in the seventeenth century. Many of his male descendents gained comfortable prosperity as merchants and businessmen, while their wives and daughters led full lives as mothers of the large families in which education and refinement were encouraged . . . . The long succession of Jonathans, Samuels, Catherines, Esters, Marys, and Sarahs makes it rather difficult to set in order the generations and their contributions to the collection.” The exact maker of this “Nine-patch” quilt is unidentified, but it was probably made by one or more members of the Copp household.
Currently not on view
National Museum of American History
Copp Family
Credit Line
Gift of John Brenton Copp
Physical Description
fabric, cotton, linen (overall material)
thread, linen, cotton (overall material)
filling, wool (overall material)
overall: 101 in x 101 in; 255 cm x 257 cm
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Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
place made
United States: Connecticut, Stonington
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