Featuring an Enigmatic Blue Tulip
New England, ca. 1820 to 1830.
Fine wool and cotton on linen, mounted for display. A tour de force of folk art created by a talented young woman artist. She was a meticulous needle worker, stitching remarkably-even raised loops, especially noticeable in the urn. Her design has a bursting of color and texture as she flanked the already over-flowing urn with bouquets of more flowers. In this period gardens of flowers were often an extravagance, so the bold representation of so many indicates optimism and abundance. Don’t miss the single blue tulip, positioned almost at the very center. Symbolism? Blue tulips (that did not naturally occur) are thought to have symbolized tranquility and peace, trust and loyalty. This artwork has survived in amazing condition with almost no wear, as it was created and intended as decoration, likely to cover the hearth-stone (as the hearth was unused in the summer months), not as an underfoot floor piece. Mounted dimensions of about 62 inches wide x 28 tall. Pictured and discussed in AMERICAN SEWN RUGS, THEIR HISTORY WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLES, Jan Whitlock with Tracy Jamar, 2012, pages 4 and 70; LIGHT FROM THE PAST, Early American Rugs from the Collection of Ronnie Newman, page 25 as exhibited in the Kresge Foundation Gallery of the Ramapo College of New Jersey, 2004. Paraphrasing American Sewn Rugs: Hearth rugs were made by hand prior to the introduction of synthetic dyes and mass-produced patterns. Rug making was taught at female academies along the Eastern Seaboard to affluent young women (as were the finest samplers and silk embroideries). Yarn-Sewn Rugs of 1790-1830 are more closely related to needlework than floor coverings. Provenance: Prominent NJ collection. This remarkable art has witnessed two centuries of American history. It may be cherished in a fine period collection, or a focal point of an upscale contemporary setting.
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