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1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel -
Rare Adam & Eve Motif

1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel - Rare Adam & Eve Motif
1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel - Rare Adam & Eve Motif
1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel - Rare Adam & Eve Motif
1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel - Rare Adam & Eve Motif
1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel - Rare Adam & Eve Motif
1821 Early Pennsylvania Door Panel - Rare Adam & Eve Motif

In Pennsylvania German culture, the decorated towel was used strictly as an ornament or embellishment on a door. It is said, by some, that it was used to hide the dirty “everyday” plain towel when company came, although it was more likely used as a way to display one's needle work prowess.

According to Ellen Gehret et al “ was usually produced by young unmarried anticipation of married adulthood.”

They were made out of natural homespun, hand-woven linen and decorated in all manner of motifs usually taken from the young ladies' practice samplers: birds, flowers, the alphabet. It is the rare few that actually have people in the decoration. In addition to counted cross stitch embroidery some were embellished with drawn work panels with needle weaving or worked in a darning stitch. Needless to say, no two are alike.

About this piece:

Several things about this particular decorated towel make it extremely unusual and rare. First and most obvious is the presence of the two stylized figures (worked in silk thread) in the top center of the piece, standing on either side of an apple tree about which is wrapped a serpent.

The second thing that stands out is that it is stitched free-hand style and not in the traditional counted cross stitch used in the early pieces. Some towels of much later origin, say, 1880's or so were done in this fashion, but few with so early a date as the year signed on this one : 1821.

All of this is worked on balanced plain homespun homewoven linen with drawn work throughout the towel embellished with needle weaving. There are the initials “EH” at the top center of the towel.

It measures 44 inches in length including the hand-knotted fringe and 11 inches wide and is hemmed on both vertical sides. It is in excellent condition with only the knotted fringe showing signs of some loss. The body of the linen has taken on a nice warm patina that homespun linen shows attendant with this type of age. It was found in Montgomery County, PA at a farm sale years ago.

This piece has been in my collection for a while. It's a rare and wonderful find, and is a “must have” for the serious collector of Pennsylvania German homespun culture.

Price: $1150

The items featured here are a small sampling of our inventory. If you are looking for a particular item, it may be in the shop so don't hesitate to contact me. Also, do check the photos under the "Shop & Shows" feature page, as you may spot an item in one of them that speaks to your collecting sensibility.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for more photos of a piece..Or ask as many questions as you like about it.

Terms and Conditions of Sale:

Personal checks, money orders, cashiers checks. Personal checks require a 7 business day bank clearance period. Unless prior arrangements have been made, payment must be received within 7 days or item will be re-offered for sale.

I guarantee all items to be as described. I try to be as thorough and meticulous in my descriptions as possible, and will gladly send additional photos as well as answer any questions about a piece in order to avoid return of merchandise.

In the event there is a discrepancy with respect to an item's representation, I must be notified within 48 hours of receipt of the piece. Upon notification, and my approval, the item must be returned within 7 days in the condition it was received in order to receive a refund less shipping and insurance.

Pennsylvania residents must pay 6% sales tax unless they possess a valid resale number.

Shipping and Handling:
Purchaser is responsible for all shipping, handling and insurance costs. I ship via the best and lowest priced carrier for the piece. Pickup of items at The Black Angus in Adamstown, Pennsylvania is a possibility depending on circumstances.

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