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Pattern Name: California Oak LeafAge: 1870sQuilting: Self Quilting (8 stitches per inch)Material: cheddar (antimony/chrome orange) and cinnamon red cotton with an overdyed greenMeasurements: 90”x87”Heritage: This quilt was found in Tennessee.  It is quite large! Little is known about the history of this piece, but it was lovingly cared for throughout its history as it remains in impeccable condition. This is absolutely a textile historian’s dream from the patterning, to the quilting, to the dye history evident throughout the piece. The early appliqué is lovely and an amazing example of this technique. It is also a wonderful tromp through textile dyeing history:1. First, the cheddar evident is a prime example of of the antimony or chrome orange. This color was achieved by chemicals available at any druggist’s store. Interestingly, this was highly toxic as it contained lead as a main ingredient.2. Secondly, the beautiful red is closer to a vibrant cinnamon pink. You can see some of the white streaks showing through. The color is consistent with examples of alizarin crimson, which lead to the decline of madder root as a dye option.3. Lastly the green swag border is a fantastic example of overdyed green. Here, indigo was used, then overdyed with yellow. It was a fugitive dye because you can see in one spot where the green has faded to blue.Condition: Overall the piece is in good condition. There are some fabrics that have begun to show wear due to the caustic early dyeing techniques. There are some storage stains that could not be removed in the cleaning process, but they are faint. This is not a quilt you would want to sun due to the vibrancy of the colors on the front. Any issue with the quilt is wear characteristic with the textile's age: a truly lovely piece.

California Oak Leaf

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