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    Description

    Maryland Plantation Slave-Made Blanket or Coverlet.
    64" x 73"
    Maryland; circa 1770s

    Coarsely-woven blue & white coverlet allegedly made in the 18th century on the Magruder Family Plantation in Calvert [later Prince George] County. Alexander Magruder owned many properties in Maryland. His plantations were named: Anchovie Hills, Good Luck, Alexandria, Craignecht and Dunblane. The coverlet is composed of two panels with a vertical seam in the middle. The pattern might be described as a checkerboard. It is hemmed on all sides.

    The coverlet was acquired by the consignor from the estate of Marjorie Magruder (1903-1994), widow of Redmond Magruder (1895-1982). It is accompanied by a written "Letter of Provenance" from Marjorie Magruder [unsigned] which reads, in full: "This pre-revolutionary coverlet was woven on the Maryland Magruder estate. The white is linen flax and the blue is wool. Both were grown there and the slaves did the carding of the wool and preparing the flax, but the women of the household did the spinning and intricate weaving. They did all the weaving for the family and slaves made their clothes. They got up at 4 a.m. and worked very hard to keep everyone clothed. This was true of most southern slave holders. It was brought in covered wagons to Ky., near Lexington, in the 1830s along with the rest of their belongings!" According to his obituary, Redmond Magruder was born in Woodville, Kentucky and moved to Michigan in 1920 where he met and married Marjorie, a resident of Adrian.

    Although we were able to locate prior sales of small household textiles from this period, we could not find any examples of larger goods such as this, made all the more significant because of its southern plantation origin.

    Condition: There are some small holes and a handful of period repairs, most notably along the central seam. The repairs were made using excess material of the same fabric and pattern. Some fraying along edges. Discoloration to the white linen in places. The overall condition is good and the colors remain strong.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    15th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 483

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