Antique Reversible Child’s Animal Motif Coverlet

Antique Reversible Child’s Animal Motif Coverlet
The centerpiece of this double-sided crib or youth coverlet is a 40”-by-39-1/2” block of printed cotton “cheater” fabric” (1880s-1890s) featuring portraits of cats and dogs within a field of chintz, paisley and small floral patterns. The predominant colors are autumnal shades of russet, burnished gold, and reddish browns.

The wide striped cotton border on this side becomes a narrow binding on the reverse side. Not as dramatic perhaps, but equally charming, this side is constructed with a solid blue-gray cotton center framed by 10”-squares blocks in subdue blues, pumpkin, mustard, khaki and gray. Each block is hand embroidered or appliquéd with animals, flowers and flags, and then hand tied with narrow strips of blue-gray ribbon.

Machine-sewn, except for the decorative handwork, the coverlet is in very good overall condition. As often happens with 19th century browns, the printed character fabric has split in a few places along fold lines, revealing bits of cotton batting underneath. On the reverse side a few blocks show minor fading or slight discoloration, but nothing that detracts from the appeal. This was probably made in the early 1900s using fabric dating from the late 1880s to around 1910. Given the subject matter and size (51-1/2” X 51”), this would be perfect hanging above the bed in a child’s room.


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