Monday, September 28, 2015

Miss Tyler's Rug 1825

Monday, September 28, 2015

Loretta reports:

One of many items that caught my eye during my last visit to the Historic Paine Estate, the Oaks, was this rug hanging on the wall of the small dining room (where we previously encountered the table at which John Adams dined). I had assumed this was the work of a skilled adult—until I got a look at the little information card below it, which reads:

This rug was ‘wrought,’ with a needle, in public school, by Elizabeth Tyler of Haddam Connecticut in 1825, she being then nine years of age. Presented to Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter D.A.R. in May 1919 by Elizabeth Reed Brownell.

We often see samplers made by schoolchildren (the Oaks has several on display). This is a rather different enterprise. I’ve had to play with the color a bit, because of problems with reflection from the glass, but believe me, it’s quite vivid in person. Even if it were badly faded it would still be a wonderful example of the artistic heights a girl could reach with her needle. Walter’s close-up pays homage to both the detail and the sweet design.

Some of our readers, I know, are experienced needlewomen. And some will recall learning to sew in the classroom. Does anybody recall tackling a project like this in elementary school?

Don’t know about you, but I’m impressed by Miss Tyler.

You can see more wonders like this at the Historic Paine Estate, the Oaks, (previous blogs here, here, here, and here), 140 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA. Remaining visiting days for 2015: 3 October 1-4PM and the Christmas Open House 5 & 6 December.* Please click here for an idea of how pretty the DAR chapter house looks at holiday time.

*For special group tours, please contact the DAR Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter:

Please click on images to enlarge.


Linette said...

I know that museums depend on information that comes with a gift, but from the photograph this rug looks like it's hooked, not worked with a needle. Hooked rugs like this were a popular Victorian craft, one that could be done very easily and quickly for maximum impact. Skill-wise, it's a few rungs below the more skilled schoolgirl needlework of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Also, the colors (particularly the red) look like the bright chemical dyes of later in the century, not the earlier plant-based dyes, and the design also looks later, so I'd put it more in 1850-60s. But again, that's based on the photograph, not seeing the actual piece.

LorettaChase said...

Linette, it's possible this is later. However, please bear in mind that I used some computer work on the two enlargements, because of the glare, and fine tuning was impossible. While the actual colors are vivid.i.e.,not badly faded, they are not the bright ones I'd associate with the Victorian era chemical dyes. The bottom picture comes closest to the colors visible in person. It would be great to have an expert examine the piece and given an opinion, and I hope that happens. Meanwhile, as you say, we have only the donor info. In so many cases, we haven't any info at all!

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