Collections › MESDA Collection › Bed Rug

Bed Rug

Gibboney, Elizabeth
Place Made:
Wythe County Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
linen, wool
HOA: 89 3/4; WOA: 73 3/4
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Bedcover made with twill woven linen ground with turkey knots to create pile. Pattern is geometric: diamonds inside octagons, with diamonds in between. Border design is zig-zags. Initials appear in one corner, date in another. Colors are blue, brown, orange and green.

The top border is 7″ wide
bottom border is 9″ wide
side borders are 7 1/2- 7 3/4″ wide

2 Panels 36 1/2″ wide each including the border.

BED RUGGS: Such heavy rug-like covers are frequently listed in American household inventories dating in the 17th century. The term is usually spelled “rugg” and is always listed with other bedding rather than separately as if a floor covering were intended by the description. The use of such covers extended into the 19th century.

This particular bed rug was purchased from a family in Wytheville, Virginia, by the seller’s mother. She was a collateral relative of Elizabeth Gibboney (1806-1852) who probably made the bed rug shortly before her marriage to Wytheville merchant James St. Clair (1797-1862) on September 18, 1826.

OTHER BED RUGGS: A large body of extant bed ruggs exists in and around Hartford, Connecticut, the products of Connecticut River Valley inhabitants. For the most part these are very colorful, with with, non-geometric flowers and animals. Only one other southern bed rugg is known and is currently in the Williamsburg collection.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund