Collections › MESDA Collection › Dressing Table Cover

Dressing Table Cover

Artist/Maker:
Ashmead, Ann
Place Made:
Annapolis Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
1823
Medium:
cotton
Dimensions:
LOA 46; WOA 24
Accession Number:
2010
Description:
MAKER: Ann Ashmead was born on April 7, 1779 to innkeepers Joseph and Ann Ashmead in Annapolis. Her mother was the widow first of John Golder (d.1760) and second of Robert Johnson (d.1773). The Ashmeads were close friends with Annapolis silversmith William Faris and his family. Ann is frequently mentioned in the diary of William Faris traveling to Philadelphia and Baltimore, often accompanied by Faris family members.

Ann Ashmead married Alexander Yearly (1778-1853) in November of 1826.

DESCRIPTION: Stuffed and corded whitework dressing table cover with fringe border on three sides. Displaying a basket of flowers at center and sprigs of flowers at each end. The basket has an oval space with the name “Ann Ashmead/1823” worked inside.

FORM: Examples of “dressed” dressing tables can be found in 18th century paintings. Period references to them are rare but they do show up in inventories. A rare description is recorded in a 1783 letter by Thomas Shippen written during a stay at Westover Plantation in Virginia. He writes, “my toilet which stands under a gilt framed looking glass, is covered with a finely worked muslin.”

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. Frank L. Horton