Exceptional Victorian Era "1889" Crazy Quilt - 4'10 x 5'1
This crazy quilt was hand-sewn and embroidered using recycled fabric in North America at the end of the 19th century (1889).
Crazy quilts are so-called "crazy" because they don't follow a specific pattern or quilt-block (the building block for a quilt pattern), instead patch-working different shaped fabrics together to create an abstract pattern. This is a very labor-intensive craft and can feature a wild mix of fabrics and stitches. Crazy-quilting reached its peak in the late 1800s, first with upper-class women who had the time to fully unleash creatively and employed fantastical fabrics and embellishments like buttons, beads, shells, and anything else that could lend sparkle and pizazz. Later once the fashion for these quilts had passed, they continued to be made in more rural areas, where women used sturdier fabrics and fewer embellishments.
This particular quilt was composed during the height of this movement and epitomizes the Victorian design sense. It features an incredible amount of symbols, detailed needlework, and a variety of fabrics giving it a powerful graphic impact. The symbols range from cats, crescent moons, teas sets, fans, butterflies, flowers, and even a beaded horseshoe with "Good Luck 1889" embroidered inside it. It was almost certainly intended as a family heirloom with its inclusion of multiple sets of initials as well as the use of expensive materials like silk and velvet.
In good condition, signs of wear are consistent with age. Some areas are worn to threadbare. Has a light and airy handle, consistent with crazy quilts.