Partial set of block-printed, glazed cotton bed hangings consisting of one continuous, pleated and shaped valance with netted fringe; one head curtain with hangings tabs; two foot curtains with hanging tabs; one shaped coverlet/counterpane.The repeating, meandering floral design is made up of two colors (black and yellow, with possibly others that have since faded), possibly known as a "drab" print in the period. The repeat is about 11" (27.94cm) long by 9.5" (24.13cm) wide. The largest motif measures about 3" (7.62cm) in diameter. By the early 19th-century, advances in technology made printed cottons available to more comsumers at a cheaper price than ever before. England, in particular, made advances in cotton cloth anf its printing, and large amounts were exported to the United States before domestic printing began in earnest domestically in the second quarter of the 19th century. Locally in Deerfield, gothic-inspired printed cotton bedhangings were owned by Seth (1787-1865) and Caroline (Stebbins) Sheldon, who married in 1810. The cotton was woven in England and was likely printed there, but there is a small chance the printing may have been done in New England. The printed design resembles those attributed to Archibald Hamilton Rowan, whose sample book of designs is now in the Winterthur Museum.. Originally from Ireland, Rowan became a calico printer on the Brandywine River in Delaware. Although he stopped prodution in 1799, the blocks may have been used by a subsequant printed. further research is needed. Both foot curtains survive with this set, and would have been hung to cover both foot posts of the bed. Linen loops at the top would have been hung from a rod affixed to the bed tester.
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