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Antiques Club of the Finger Lakes: 19th Century American Woven Coverlets - An Introduction to Coverlets and Some Local Weavers

April 28, 2022, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Detail of a blue and white coverlet with Jessie Johnston 1845 around a floral element.The Antiques Club of the Finger Lakes will present "19th Century American Woven Coverlets: An Introduction to Coverlets and some Local Weavers ” by Marty Schlabach and Mary Jean Welser at the Geneva History Museum. The meeting is free and open to the public and masks will be required in consideration of any vulnerable attendees. A virtual option is also being offered.

Marty and Mary Jean will explore what a coverlet is, highlight their path to collecting coverlets, and identify some local and regional coverlet weavers of the early 19th century. Several coverlets will be displayed at the in-person program. If you have a coverlet in your family, you are encouraged to submit a photograph to the speakers via or bring it to the program.

In the 19th century coverlets were often woven for special occasions and became prized family heirlooms. Many small towns in our region and across New York State hosted professional weavers in the first half of the 1800s. Most homes had spinning-wheels and looms. A wide array of types of cloth was woven by the women of the family for household use. There were also professional weavers who wove for others and earned their living practicing their trade.

Mary Jean has been interested in and has collected textiles for many years, with a particular interest in quilts. About 10 years ago, while pawing through a pile of textiles at a local estate sale, Mary Jean came across two whole cloth, early 19th century quilts and one geometric overshot coverlet. Thus started Mary Jean's and Marty's interest in, exploration and collection of coverlets. As a retired librarian, Marty particularly enjoys the historical research associated with learning about coverlets. Marty and Mary Jean claim Interlaken, New York as their home and spend substantial time gardening and working on their 1840s Greek Revival farmhouse, in addition to prowling antique shops and auctions

The meeting is presented in cooperation with Historic Geneva. Anyone who wishes to attend the program virtually through Zoom must register ahead of time. To register, click here. The necessary login information will be sent to registrants via email 24 hours prior to the program. For any problems with registration or to register by phone, call the Historic Geneva office at 315-789-5151. Registrations must be complete before 5 pm on April 27, the day before the program.

The Antiques Club of the Finger Lakes is in its 47th year of programming meant to foster an interest in and to increase knowledge about all fields of antiques and collectibles. Meetings are free and open to the public, but membership is welcome and encouraged at $10 per year. Programs include meetings at the Geneva History Museum, field trips and social events.


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