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.
Due to the age of both pieces, many of the fabrics had begun to deteriorate.
Frederica Josephson quilt
Lady Mary Fitzroy quilt
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