Cot Set thumbnail 1
Cot Set thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Cot Set

1700-50 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In the eighteenth century, a mother would 'lie in' for some weeks after the birth of her child, receiving visitors in her bedchamber. In celebration of a safe delivery, friends and relatives would bring gifts, and the baby's cot would be dressed with elaborate textiles that mimicked adult fashions, designed to show its high status.

This particular cot set has been flat quilted. Flat quilting is where two pieces of cloth are stitched together with no wadding in between. A single or double line of stitching creates the pattern. The style of the flowers imitates chintzes and Indian embroideries popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

This set would have been an expensive item, drawn out by a professional pattern drawer and embroidered in a workshop. The two curtains may have been joined together at a later date, possibly in the nineteenth century when this style of cot curtain became popular. Children born into middling and aristocratic households grew up among objects that mirrored adult fashions. Ceremonial items such as this cot set tended to be formal, luxurious and rich in appearance, designed to show off both the baby and the status of the household into which he or she had been born. Here, the style of chainstitch embroidery recalls the fashions for chintzes and Indian embroideries that were popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.


object details
Category
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Cot Curtain
  • Cot Cover
Materials and Techniques
flat quilted and embroidered
Physical Description
Flat quilted cream linen cot cover and two curtains that have been joined at the upper edge. Flat quilted with a small, all-over diamond pattern in back stitch with cream silk thread, and embroidered with trailing flowers and leaves in red, pink, green and yellow silk thread. Both the cover and the curtain are lined with cotton and bound with green silk tape.
Dimensions
  • Height: 93cm
  • Width: 60cm
  • Depth: 90cm
Designed to fit a cot with the above dimensions
Summary
In the eighteenth century, a mother would 'lie in' for some weeks after the birth of her child, receiving visitors in her bedchamber. In celebration of a safe delivery, friends and relatives would bring gifts, and the baby's cot would be dressed with elaborate textiles that mimicked adult fashions, designed to show its high status.



This particular cot set has been flat quilted. Flat quilting is where two pieces of cloth are stitched together with no wadding in between. A single or double line of stitching creates the pattern. The style of the flowers imitates chintzes and Indian embroideries popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.



This set would have been an expensive item, drawn out by a professional pattern drawer and embroidered in a workshop. The two curtains may have been joined together at a later date, possibly in the nineteenth century when this style of cot curtain became popular. Children born into middling and aristocratic households grew up among objects that mirrored adult fashions. Ceremonial items such as this cot set tended to be formal, luxurious and rich in appearance, designed to show off both the baby and the status of the household into which he or she had been born. Here, the style of chainstitch embroidery recalls the fashions for chintzes and Indian embroideries that were popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Bibliographic Reference
Sue Prichard (ed.), Quilts 1700-2010 (London: V&A, 2010) p.170
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.531-1923

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record createdSeptember 12, 2008
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