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Patchwork coverlet

Patchwork coverlet

  • Place of origin:

    Somerset (made)

  • Date:

    1802-1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered and pieced printed cotton and linen

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Coate family in memory of Randoll Coate

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This coverlet is a striking example of the craft of patchwork, a popular pastime in the nineteenth century. The overall design combines a variety of blocks or shapes, with appliquéd flowers, and an embrodiered central medallion. Ann Randoll was part of the Coate family of Somerset, but it has not been possible to find out anything about her despite considerable genealogical research. Several printed cottons date from after 1802, so this may be her birth or another significant family date, rather than the date the patchwork was completed.

The coverlet is composed of hundreds of tiny pieces of printed cotton, and some printed linen, and together these show the development of textile printing from about 1780 to the1820s. One stylised flower printed in red on green comes from India, where the technique of printing with wooden blocks on cotton was first perfected. Another fabric used was a large-scale furnishing linen, printed in France. The coverlet is dominated by the many attractive, small-scale floral sprigs and stripes that became so fashionable in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and show the great variety of designs that became available from Britain's manufacturers as mechanisation and technology improved.

Physical description

Patchwork coverlet, of printed cotton and linen, dating from the 1780s to the 1820s. Central panel embroidered with '27 October 1802 / Ann Randoll'.

Place of Origin

Somerset (made)


1802-1830 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered and pieced printed cotton and linen

Marks and inscriptions

Central panel embroidered with '27 October 1802 / Ann Randoll'.


Height: 375 cm approx., Width: 300 cm approx., Weight: 7 kg, Width: 2533 mm Top edge, Width: 2482 mm Bottom edge, Length: 3111 mm Proper right, Length: 3110 mm Proper left, Weight: 15.5 kg Weighed on roller

Object history note

According to the International Genealogical Index (www.familysearch.org) an Ann Randle died on 7 October 1802, having been baptised on 8 June 1800 in Bedworth Warwickshire. Her parents were Samuel and Lydia Randle.

Descriptive line

Patchwork coverlet, printed cotton and linen, Somerset, 1802-1830

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Linda Parry, 'Complexity and context: nineteenth-century British quilts', in Sue Prichard (ed.), Quilts 1700-2010 (London: V&A, 2010) p.69
no. 20
Sue Prichard (ed.), Quilts, 1700-2010 : hidden histories, untold stories, London: V&A, 2010

Labels and date

Embroidered patchwork coverlet
Ann Randoll, possibly Somerset
About 1820; dated 1802

The variety of printed cottons available by the end of the 18th century can be seen in the wide range of dress fabrics used here. They include a large-scale copperplate-printed textile of the 1780s (possibly French); an Indian fabric in red and green; a flag design, possibly commemorating a naval victory; and several cottons in the 'seaweed' style popular in the 1820s.

The embroidery at the centre - 'Ann Randoll / October 27 1802' - records a date significantly earlier than some of the textiles. Randoll seems to have made the quilt to commemorate an earlier event in her life.

Cotton and linen

Given by the Coate family in memory of Randoll Coate
V&A: T.32-2007 [20th March 2010]


Cotton; Linen; Linen


Printing; Patchwork




Textiles and Fashion Collection

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