Coverlet thumbnail 1
Coverlet thumbnail 2
+9
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

This object, or the text that describes it, is deemed offensive and discriminatory. We are committed to improving our records, and work is ongoing.


Coverlet

1820 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Ann West, the creator of this needlework masterpiece, may have owned a millinery and dressmaking shop in Chippenham, Wiltshire. To make the coverlet, she used brightly coloured woollen material from coats and uniforms, a type of cloth made in the West Country.

The design shows Adam naming the animals in the Garden of Eden, together with 64 brightly coloured woollen panels showing other vivid scenes from Bible stories, and lively depictions of everyday characters and occupations. Captions are embroidered over the appliqué pictures, adding humorous and personal touches. Each panel acts as a window onto early nineteenth century life, and they include a depiction of a double wedding, a 'Poor Sailor', and a 'Negro servant and Master'.
interact Ann West's patchwork This vibrant example of 19th-century patchwork depicts a mixture of biblical stories and scenes of ordinary people going about their daily business, revealing a glimpse of life in rural England. It is made from offcuts of coats and military uniforms, decorated with woollen appliqué (pieces...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Coverlet
  • Lining
Materials and Techniques
Wool appliqué and patchwork, with embroidery
Brief Description
Ann West applique and patchwork coverlet, 1820, English
Physical Description
Coverlet composed of panels of wool appliqué and patchwork, with embroidery. Designed with central panel of Adam naming the animals in the garden of Eden, surrounded by 64 square vignettes showing scenes from everyday life. The coverlet bears a signature 'Ann West's work', and the date '1820'.
Dimensions
  • Outer cape length: 102cm
  • Inner waistcoat length: 60cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
'Ann West's work / 1820' (Embroidered)
Gallery Label
Patchwork with Garden of Eden Ann West, possibly Wiltshire Dated 1820 Ann West may have owned a millinery and dressmaking shop in Chippenham, Wiltshire. This cover or hanging shows Adam naming the animals in the Garden of Eden, together with 64 panels that include lively depictions of everyday characters and occupations. One of the scenes is from Sarah Trimmer's popular educational book, A Series of Prints from the New Testament (1790). Captions have been embroidered over the pictures, and the cover may have been intended as an educational device for children. Wool Acquired with the support of the Friends of the V&A V&A: T.23-2007 [Supporting image, with caption:] Sarah Trimmer, 'Our Saviour conversing with the Woman of Sameria', 1790, repr. 1825 V&A Images(20th March 2010)
Credit line
Purchased with the support of the Contributing and Life Members of the Friends of the V&A
Object history
NB The term ‘negro’ was used historically to describe people of black (sub-Saharan) African heritage but, since the 1960s, has fallen from usage and, increasingly, is considered offensive. The term is repeated here in its original historical context.
Historical context
As the educational programme of Victorian England established itself, with its emphasis on social improvement, quilts moved from the home to the public sphere. Some of the most inventive examples of 19th-century patchwork were produced for exhibition and display, often with a didactic aim. The pieces were designed to show off individual skill - such as difficult inlay patchwork - but also to promote Victorian values of perseverance and hard work.
Subject depicted
Summary
Ann West, the creator of this needlework masterpiece, may have owned a millinery and dressmaking shop in Chippenham, Wiltshire. To make the coverlet, she used brightly coloured woollen material from coats and uniforms, a type of cloth made in the West Country.



The design shows Adam naming the animals in the Garden of Eden, together with 64 brightly coloured woollen panels showing other vivid scenes from Bible stories, and lively depictions of everyday characters and occupations. Captions are embroidered over the appliqué pictures, adding humorous and personal touches. Each panel acts as a window onto early nineteenth century life, and they include a depiction of a double wedding, a 'Poor Sailor', and a 'Negro servant and Master'.
Bibliographic Reference
Sue Prichard (ed.), Quilts, 1700-2010 : hidden histories, untold stories, London: V&A, 201035Jenny Lister, 'Remember Me: Ann West's coverlet', in Sue Prichard (ed.), Quilts 1700-2010 (London: V&A, 2010) pp.87-91
Collection
Accession Number
T.23-2007

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdApril 19, 2007
Record URL