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Bed cover

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1830-1840 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Quilted and printed cotton, backed in linen, embroidered

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Jason W. Westerfield, in loving memory of Mr. Peter Floud

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

At the start of the nineteenth century, the British market was flooded with a new range of printed cottons. These were used for clothing and furnishings, including the creation of light, bright coverings for the bedroom. Tailors and dressmakers capitalised on consumer demand by offering fragments, cuttings and ready-cut patches for use in patchwork and quilting.

Printed panels also became popular. These were manufactured throughout the first few decades of the century, and were widely used in domestic needlework projects. Some celebrated military victories and coronations, but others were decorative examples that fitted with the trend for dense patterns and bright colours. The particularly large example at the centre of this bed cover was probably printed in the 1820s or early 1830s, at a time when the surrounding prints would also have been highly fashionable in middle class homes across Britain.

Physical description

Quilted patchwork bed cover of printed cottons. At the centre is a printed panel showing a basket of fruit on a white ground. The ready printed centre shows a small bird perched on a basket of fruit including peaches, grapes, pineapple and strawberries. This is surrounded by nine patchwork borders of varying widths, including a border of hexagon rosettes, and a border in the design now known as 'flying geese'. The initials 'A.E.W.' are worked in cross stitch in the upper left-hand corner, and the initials 'I.K.' in the lower right. Four white corner blocks are embroidered with thistle, rose and shamrock motifs. The bed cover has a reverse of hand-woven white linen and is quilted in a herringbone pattern.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1830-1840 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Quilted and printed cotton, backed in linen, embroidered

Marks and inscriptions

Worked in cross stitch in the upper left-hand corner.

Worked in cross stitch in the lower right corner.


Height: 300 cm, Width: 293 cm, Height: 122 in, Width: 113 in, Weight: 2.07 kg

Object history note

Most of the printed cottons date to the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

Descriptive line

Bed cover of quilted and printed cotton and backed in linen, England, 1830-1840


Cotton; Cotton thread


Quilting; Patchwork

Subjects depicted

Grapes; Peaches; Strawberries; Pineapple; Corn; Flowers; Birds


Textiles; Embroidery; Interiors


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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