Sunday, July 22, 2012
Turquoise or Mint Green? Fabrics of 1870s-80s
I was drawn to this quilt top because I personally seldom see this shade of green in quilts prior to the 20th century. For certain I have never seen one made predominantly of this color in the 1800s. I wonder why that is? It's a lovely color and very "modern" looking. In this top it is beautifully contrasted with pinks and browns and rusts with just a little red. I'd date this 1870s-1880s.
Barbara Brackman refers to it as Nile Green or Caledon Jade Green in Issue #11 (Jan 17, 2010) of her newsletter "The Quilt Detective" Prints, Colors and Dyes". She writes that Log Cabin and Charm quilts were full of them but, again, I personally haven't seen a lot of this particular green in quilts. Other greens seem much more common than Mint Green or Nile Green or Caledon Jade Green in the 1800s. I guess that is why this top caught my eye instantly.
See page 89 of Eileen Jahnke Trestain's book "Dating Fabrics : A Color guide 1880-1960" as well. You can also see a hint of this color in the 1830s and 1840s but it was much more subtle than the "brightness" of the Mint Green in this top, and, according to Brackman, had a very different dye source than that of the 1880s Mint Green.
As I read all the comments that are being left about this post, I am beginning to question my perception of this color!
So, I decided to google "turquoise" and "mint green" and compare. I have to admit, it's a close call but after further review, I agree with Patricia Cummings. It looks more turquoise..
Of course, we all know that every era seems to create its own name for various colors. You know the game, I say potato, you say "patato".
Can you see the tiny "patching/seaming" in these photos this quilter did to create a whole square out of odds and ends of tiny pieces of fabric?