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Bed cover

Bed cover

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1811-1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Broderie perse applique in cotton, block-printed chintz

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The application of shaped pieces of fabric onto a ground material can create very striking designs. In this instance, the maker has use a variation of applique known as 'Broderie Perse', whereby individual printed motifs, such as flowers or birds, are cut from fashionable chintzes and then stitched onto a larger piece of plain fabric.

Many of the English textiles seen here were printed between 1804 and 1811 at Bannister Hall, a printworks near Preston that supplied leading London drapers. The striking colours of the border and its classical motifs were highly fashionable in around 1805. Such a large scale applique project provided the maker with the opportunity to display not only her needlework skills, but also her access to some of these desirable textiles.

Physical description

Bed coverlet of broderie perse white cotton, unlined, with an applied design of block-printed chintzes, most of which may be dated to the years 1804-1811. The coverlet has a square central compartment containing a peacock. The frame surrounding this is divided into smaller square compartments containing flowers and Chinoiserie vases and other motifs. Outside the frame is a wide border on which are scattered birds, vases of flowers and chinoiserie motifs. The outer border is a glazed cotton with a red ground and printed in black with a classical design of two-handled urns alternating with a group containing an eagle and lyre.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1811-1815 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Broderie perse applique in cotton, block-printed chintz


Width: 268 cm, Height: 268 cm, Weight: 6 kg

Object history note

According to the donor, this coverlet was made in the Greater Manchester area by a member of the Kershaw family. The Kershaws owned a medical practice in Middleton in the early nineteenth century, and later moved to Wales.

Historical context note

Many of the printed cottons were printed at Bannister Hall, near Preston, Lancashire, between the years 1804 and 1811. Bannister Hall was one of the leading print works for woodblock chintzes in England in the early nineteenth century, producing innovative and constantly changing designs. The red and black 'classical' border round the edge was printed for George Anstey, a leading London linen-draper, in 1804. The Chinese vases come from two fabrics printed at Bannister Hall in 1805 and 1806. The little zig-zag border surrounding the central panel was also printed for Anstey in 1805, and the palm tree with white blossom at the base in 1811.

In about 1805 classical arabesques re-appear in a vogue for textiles printed in vibrant colours of red, yellow, orange, and black, as shown in the borders of this coverlet. Many of these patterns can be traced to earlier books of engraved designs, and the colours are well documented in the records of Bannister Hall, to which the fashionable London linen drapers like Richard Ovey and Abraham Allen sent their designs and instructions.

Descriptive line

Bed coverlet of broderie perse applique in cotton, England, 1811-1815

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) pp.62-64

Labels and date

Coverlet with Bannister Hall printed textiles
Possibly a member of the Kershaw family, Middleton, Greater Manchester

Many of the English textiles in this quilt were printed in 1804-11 at Bannister Hall, a printworks near Preston that supplied leading London drapers. The central panel shows a peacock, with surrounding squares showing flowers, chinoiserie vases and other fashionable printed cottons. The 'hot' colours of the border, and its classical motifs, came into fashion in 1805.


Given by Alice B. Kershaw
V&A: T.382-1960

[Supporting image,with caption:]
Border printed for George Anstey & Co., Bannister Hall pattern book, 1804
Cummersdale Textile Archive, part of the John Lewis Partnership Archive Collection [20th March 2010]


Cotton; Chintz


Broderie perse

Subjects depicted

Books; Trees; Men; Flowers; Birds; Peacock; Women; Vases; Houses


Textiles; Household objects; Interiors

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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