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October 17, 2020 Historic Deerfield

Blue and White Needlework Table Scarf

Maker(s): Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework
American (1896-1926)
Title: table scarf
Date Made: 1896-1926
Type: Household Accessory; Textile
Materials: textile: polychrome linen embroidery; white, plain-weave linen
Place Made: United States; Massachusetts; Deerfield
Measurements: overall: 18 3/8 x 42 1/4 in.; 46.6725 x 107.315 cm
Accession Number:  HD 1998.5
Credit Line: Museum Collections Fund
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Linen table scarf made by a member of The Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework, which is perhaps the most famous group in the arts and crafts revival that occurred in Deerfield at the turn of the 20th century. Margaret Whiting (1860-1946) and Ellen Miller (1854-1929), the Society’s founders, created replicas and new designs based on 18th century New England crewelwork for Deerfield tourists and prosperous patrons. About twenty-five Deerfield women were paid to embroider vegetable-dyed linen yarns on hand-spun linen cloth. If their work was of sufficient quality, a flax wheel with a “D” was embroidered on the piece by one of the two founders as a “seal of approval.” This table scarf is an example of Pattern No. 7: Shepherd’s Thistle. This scarf is made of unbleached linen cloth with linen embroidery threads with traditional Blue and White Society stitches, in three shades of blue, plus white, detailing the large thistle at each end of the scarf. The proper right side of one end has the ‘D’ sign in a wheel, the sign of the Society. The paper label reads: “The Deerfield Society of Blue/ & White Needlework/ Embroideries of Original/ Design in Natural Dyes/ Established in 1896/ At the Sign of the Wheel/ Old Deerfield Massachusetts”. Handwritten on the label is “No. 7/ Shephard’s Thistle”.

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