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Whitework Coverlet

Artist/Maker:
Graves, Frances Lewis
Place Made:
Mt. Pleasant Plantation Newton County Georgia
Date Made:
1820-1825
Medium:
cotton
Dimensions:
LOA 84; WOA 84
Accession Number:
820
Description:
MAKER: Frances Lewis Graves (1797-1850) was born in Caswell County, North Carolina to Solomon Graves (1766-1830) and Frances Byrd Lewis (1768-1817). Frances attended Salem Girls School from 1812-1814. The family moved to Newton County, Georgia between 1817-1819. The Graves family plantation was called “Mt. Pleasant” located in Covington, Georgia and was home to the Graves family for 140 years. This whitework stuffed and corded quilt was most likely made before her 1825 marriage to Dr. William P. Graham of Clarke, Georgia.

DESCRIPTION: Whitework stuffed and corded bedcovering.
“At first glance this coverlet appears very delicate and of a free pattern, although actually the design in the sturdy cotton was well-planned. On three edges, it displays an intertwining, flowing border of flowers and leaves. Progressing toward the center, the next pattern–a design of grape leaves, grapes, and tendrils–is worked on all sides. Between that and the central medallion are five sprays of flowers, each sprouting from a cornucopia. Encircling the central urn and large arrangement of flowers is a border of alternating stylized leaves and flowers. The intricate patterns are effectively raised, and the dependence of linearity of stitches and the effects of light and shadow provide a subtle yet handsome coverlet.” (Welshimer in Welshimer and Bivins, p. 60).