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Conrad Kaser 1840 Coverlet

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  • coverletman
    I posted a couple photos of a CONRAD KASER MACUNK TAUNSIF 1840 coverlet that recently sold at Pook and Pook. He appears to be an undocumented fancy weaver. I
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 6, 2012
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      I posted a couple photos of a CONRAD KASER MACUNK TAUNSIF 1840 coverlet that recently sold at Pook and Pook. He appears to be an undocumented fancy weaver. I have a question for you weave structure experts; What is the weave structure of this coverlet? I know I am getting old and my eyesight is failing so how do they throw the shuttle on a diagonal? Why am I seeing diagonal lines in the close-up? Is this some type of summer winter 3 to 1 tied unbalanced double weave?
    • frostfree12
      Ron, The 1840 US Census lists as head of household a Conrad Kyser in Mauch Chunk, Northampton County, PA. The eldest male in the household is tallied as being
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 8, 2012
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        Ron,

        The 1840 US Census lists as head of household a Conrad Kyser in Mauch Chunk, Northampton County, PA. The eldest male in the household is tallied as being aged 20-29. None of the three persons in the household is listed as working in manufacture or trades. I did not find him there or identifiably elsewhere in the 1850 US Census. For 1850 a 90-year-old man by similar name is listed in the same County (in Upper Mount Bethel Township), no occupation listed.

        That is a strange looking coverlet. I don't recall seeing the design motifs before. The colors are odd; while chrome yellows were available from the 1840s (they are found in many quilt-top pieces), the photo overall gives me the impression of chemical dyes throughout. Lack of discoloration of the cotton is curious. Possibly someone washed the coverlet using bleach, but carefully so the cotton does not look puckered due to wool shrinkage.

        Yes that appears to be a single-tied summer-and-winter structure, but woven (quite oddly) so that the pattern wefts at times skip over two of the 1:3 units or possibly more.

        I think the main reason summer-and-winter was at times used for coverlets woven with automated patterning devices was that the regular tie-downs made for a lot more consistent results, sharing this feature with what is called tied-beiderwand. The way this particular coverlet is woven seems to defeat this purpose a bit. Or maybe the equipment was not working well.

        If this coverlet is a genuine example, woven at the time of its woven date, it is the only summer-and-winter one made in that period in Pennsylvania that I know of. Maybe someone can come up with others.

        I'll assume that your query regarding appearance of diagonals was meant to provoke discussion, but will briefly note that this is an optical effect like the appearance of diagonals in twills. In this case it has to do with the array of ends of pattern-weft skips. The underlying cotton structure is very regularly with warp and weft at 90 degrees to each other.

        Your excellent photos allow wondering about this coverlet's features.

        Cheers,
        Judy
      • coverletman
        Judy - Thanks for the informative reply. I too found Conrad Kyser in 1840 but not much more. The family could be Keyser. I would have to search the yearly
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 9, 2012
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          Judy - Thanks for the informative reply. I too found Conrad Kyser in 1840 but not much more. The family could be Keyser. I would have to search the yearly township tax records and see if they list occupation at that time. That should give an idea as to what period he worked there. I know summer winter fancy coverlets are rare. I remember Jude brought a B JUNE summer winter to the Cumberland CCGA meeting. That's the only one that comes to mind right now. That was the first time I admitted it was actually a weave structure. I just never saw it in Pennsylvania and everybody misapplies the term to double weave coverlets that are dark on one side and light on the other. I posted a photo of a Leonard Metz 1841 coverlet with a similar border. That border is fairly common in Montgomery and Lehigh County. I don't recognize the pattern either. Yes I was hoping to start a discussion on the weave structure but everyone else in the group seems to be happy remaining as the silent majority. Take care. - Ron



          --- In NMAC_collectors@yahoogroups.com, "frostfree12" <frostfree12@...> wrote:
          >
          > Ron,
          >
          > The 1840 US Census lists as head of household a Conrad Kyser in Mauch Chunk, Northampton County, PA. The eldest male in the household is tallied as being aged 20-29. None of the three persons in the household is listed as working in manufacture or trades. I did not find him there or identifiably elsewhere in the 1850 US Census. For 1850 a 90-year-old man by similar name is listed in the same County (in Upper Mount Bethel Township), no occupation listed.
          >
          > That is a strange looking coverlet. I don't recall seeing the design motifs before. The colors are odd; while chrome yellows were available from the 1840s (they are found in many quilt-top pieces), the photo overall gives me the impression of chemical dyes throughout. Lack of discoloration of the cotton is curious. Possibly someone washed the coverlet using bleach, but carefully so the cotton does not look puckered due to wool shrinkage.
          >
          > Yes that appears to be a single-tied summer-and-winter structure, but woven (quite oddly) so that the pattern wefts at times skip over two of the 1:3 units or possibly more.
          >
          > I think the main reason summer-and-winter was at times used for coverlets woven with automated patterning devices was that the regular tie-downs made for a lot more consistent results, sharing this feature with what is called tied-beiderwand. The way this particular coverlet is woven seems to defeat this purpose a bit. Or maybe the equipment was not working well.
          >
          > If this coverlet is a genuine example, woven at the time of its woven date, it is the only summer-and-winter one made in that period in Pennsylvania that I know of. Maybe someone can come up with others.
          >
          > I'll assume that your query regarding appearance of diagonals was meant to provoke discussion, but will briefly note that this is an optical effect like the appearance of diagonals in twills. In this case it has to do with the array of ends of pattern-weft skips. The underlying cotton structure is very regularly with warp and weft at 90 degrees to each other.
          >
          > Your excellent photos allow wondering about this coverlet's features.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Judy
          >
        • frostfree12
          Ron, Thanks for the data on other PA summer-and-winter structure figured/fancy coverlets. Yes, the surname could be spelt Kaiser, Keyser, Keiser, Kyzer (in
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 9, 2012
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            Ron,

            Thanks for the data on other PA summer-and-winter structure 'figured/fancy' coverlets.

            Yes, the surname could be spelt Kaiser, Keyser, Keiser, Kyzer (in which case could be misread as "Kyger" by a transcriber or indexer) and other ways. Enumerators, assessors, County Court Clerks and Prothonotaries spelled names as they sounded to them.

            And yes in that period PA was assessing taxes on occupations. However, as you know many weavers were principally farmers. If you are going to the Courthouse, a check of deeds could also be instructive: did any Kaiser/Kyzer purchase a patent right for certain equipment, recorded among local deeds? Is there an estate record for a Conrad dying in the 1840s (if so his estate inventory / sale bill could be quite interesting).

            Conrad who produced that coverlet might not have owned a shop; the loom and apparatus may have been operating out of a water-powered mill for power take-off. There might be a lease agreement recorded as a deed.


            Best wishes,
            Judy


            --- In NMAC_collectors@yahoogroups.com, "coverletman" <rewalter2@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Judy - Thanks for the informative reply. I too found Conrad Kyser in 1840 but not much more. The family could be Keyser. I would have to search the yearly township tax records and see if they list occupation at that time. That should give an idea as to what period he worked there. I know summer winter fancy coverlets are rare. I remember Jude brought a B JUNE summer winter to the Cumberland CCGA meeting. That's the only one that comes to mind right now. That was the first time I admitted it was actually a weave structure. I just never saw it in Pennsylvania and everybody misapplies the term to double weave coverlets that are dark on one side and light on the other. I posted a photo of a Leonard Metz 1841 coverlet with a similar border. That border is fairly common in Montgomery and Lehigh County. I don't recognize the pattern either. Yes I was hoping to start a discussion on the weave structure but everyone else in the group seems to be happy remaining as the silent majority. Take care. - Ron
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In NMAC_collectors@yahoogroups.com, "frostfree12" <frostfree12@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Ron,
            > >
            > > The 1840 US Census lists as head of household a Conrad Kyser in Mauch Chunk, Northampton County, PA. The eldest male in the household is tallied as being aged 20-29. None of the three persons in the household is listed as working in manufacture or trades. I did not find him there or identifiably elsewhere in the 1850 US Census. For 1850 a 90-year-old man by similar name is listed in the same County (in Upper Mount Bethel Township), no occupation listed.
            > >
            > > That is a strange looking coverlet. I don't recall seeing the design motifs before. The colors are odd; while chrome yellows were available from the 1840s (they are found in many quilt-top pieces), the photo overall gives me the impression of chemical dyes throughout. Lack of discoloration of the cotton is curious. Possibly someone washed the coverlet using bleach, but carefully so the cotton does not look puckered due to wool shrinkage.
            > >
            > > Yes that appears to be a single-tied summer-and-winter structure, but woven (quite oddly) so that the pattern wefts at times skip over two of the 1:3 units or possibly more.
            > >
            > > I think the main reason summer-and-winter was at times used for coverlets woven with automated patterning devices was that the regular tie-downs made for a lot more consistent results, sharing this feature with what is called tied-beiderwand. The way this particular coverlet is woven seems to defeat this purpose a bit. Or maybe the equipment was not working well.
            > >
            > > If this coverlet is a genuine example, woven at the time of its woven date, it is the only summer-and-winter one made in that period in Pennsylvania that I know of. Maybe someone can come up with others.
            > >
            > > I'll assume that your query regarding appearance of diagonals was meant to provoke discussion, but will briefly note that this is an optical effect like the appearance of diagonals in twills. In this case it has to do with the array of ends of pattern-weft skips. The underlying cotton structure is very regularly with warp and weft at 90 degrees to each other.
            > >
            > > Your excellent photos allow wondering about this coverlet's features.
            > >
            > > Cheers,
            > > Judy
            > >
            >
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