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Mary Magych [?] Desel

Pieced Bedcover (Honeycomb)
about 1825 Charleston, South Carolina
chintz, calicoes, and white cotton; unquilted
98 1/2 x 108 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia Smith Melton

A total of 442 rosettes of colorful cottons are pieced into the unquilted top. Each is composed of different combinations of English dress fabrics with small-scale prints. Surrounding this opulent garden of geometric blooms is a glazed floral chintz, block-printed with a double border. To add visual texture and suggest shading, the outer border strip has a background of pin dots, printed by brass pins inserted into a woodblock. The more luxuriant inner range—depicting a row of flower-filled wicker baskets and classical urns—provides a delightful contrast between the abstract character of the pieced “flowers” and the naturalism of the adjacent printed red poppies and roses. It was not until the early 1900s that such rosette-pattern quilts were consistently termed “flower garden” designs