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Embroidered Coverlet

Abrams, Elizabeth
Place Made:
Newberry County South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
HOA: 89 5/8; WOA 74 1/4
Accession Number:
MAKER: Elizabeth (Bess) Abrams (1782-1863) was born to James (1745-1822) and Mary Abrams (1748-1831) in Newberry County, South Carolina. On December 27, 1810, Bess married William Renwick (1779-1816) and they had two sons. She was widowed in 1816 at the age of 34, and successfully managed the family business leaving a considerable estate at her death. This bedcovering is inscribed in blue silk thread with Bess Abrams’ initials and the date it was made – BA3/1807.

DESCRIPTION: Bedcover made from two 29″ panels and one 14″ strip of homespun cotton, decorated with various types of needlework embroidery forming a scalloped diamond enclosure at center with a pot of stylistic flowers and insects, this diamond surrounded by other groups of flowers and bordered by two rows of scalloped swags, the whole fringed by a tied diamond-pattern fringe. The inscription BA3/1807 is worked into the design at the head. Colors are blue, red, and white on white plain weave ground, now somewhat yellowed; no backing. Fringe is 3 1/2″ on 2 sides; top and bottom do not have fringe. Cotton ground is a loosely woven fabric.

RELATED OBJECTS: A silk strip quilt also made by Bess Abrams is in the MESDA Collection (acc.4094).

Credit Line:
Gift of Frank L. Horton