A standard set of bedding in the late eighteenth century included a pair of blankets, sheets, and a coverlet. Rose blankets derived their name from the colorful, abstract designs, often called roses or rosings, embroidered at their corners. Produced in a variety of widths and qualities, they were acquired by a broad range of consumers, from Native Americans to the Anglo-American elite. Only tattered yarns survive to give a sense of the original decoration on this blanket, which family tradition maintains came from Mount Vernon. George Washington's accounts specify purchases of rose blankets in the 1790s, although this and other examples at Mount Vernon possibly date earlier.
Blanket of plain-woven, napped, cream-colored wool cloth with remnants of embroidered roses or medallions at each corner and a brown stripe, woven in the weft, at each end; 15 tpi (warp) x 22 tpi (weft); at each corner, a circle is outlined in dark brown stitches; within this larger circle is a smaller one divided into a grid of nine spaces, with a square at center featuring an eight-pointed star in olive green, pink, yellow, and dark brown yarn, surrounded by four blocks with a feathered design embroidered in green along the axis of the weft and pink along the axis of the warp, and four corner sections with a feathered design embroidered in yellow; the ends of the blanket are unfinished.
Overall (H x W): 98 1/4 in. × 81 5/8 in. (249.56 cm × 207.34 cm)
Other (Outside dimensions of rose): 16 in. (40.64 cm)
Other (Inside dimensions of rose): 11 3/4 in. (29.85 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Walter Gibson Peter, Jr. in memory of Agnes Peter Mott, 1975
Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here