Frederica Josephson and Lady Mary Fitzroy Quilts

PROJECT DATE : 2016
project
Frederica Josephson and Lady Mary Fitzroy Quilts
client
National Trust of Australia (NSW)
services
Textile Conservation

Overview

Stitched in the mid-1800s, these two heritage quilts – held by the National Trust – are important pieces in the rich history of Australian quilting.

In 1853 Frederica Mary Josephson (1832-1907) married Emanuel Josephson, son of the noted convict silversmith Jacob Josephson (1773-1845). Until 1873 the Josephsons lived at Riverview Cottage in Longueville, Sydney, where it is believed Frederica made the quilt. Consisting of a complex pattern of hexagonal stars and radiating diamonds, considerable thought and care has clearly gone into its construction.

Lady Mary Fitzroy (1790–1847) was the daughter of the Duke of Richmond and arrived in Australia in August 1846 as the wife of Governor Sir Charles Fitzroy. Her untimely death in a horse carriage accident in Parramatta in 1847 meant a quilt she had been working on remained unfinished. Nevertheless, the hexagonal patchwork of this cotton and silk quilt has been skilfully executed.

To prepare them for upcoming exhibitions at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre and National Gallery of Victoria, ICS was commissioned to oversee and assist with their conservation, which was primarily carried out by Jane Donnelly from the National Trust.

Condition

Due to the age of both pieces, many of the fabrics had begun to deteriorate.

Treatment

  • Providing recommendations for the safe display of the quilts
  • Surface cleaning both quilts

Frederica Josephson quilt

  • Colour matching tulle netting to 11 different fabric types
  • Carefully attaching tulle to over 70 damaged areas to stabilise quilt

Lady Mary Fitzroy quilt

  • Removing the piece from its black fabric backing

More information

project
Frederica Josephson and Lady Mary Fitzroy Quilts
client
National Trust of Australia (NSW)
services
Textile Conservation
During Treatment
Before Treatment

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