Textile auction Feb. 18 features many Grenfell mats

Grenfell mats

Grenfell mat or rug, 1930s, cotton and silk, 32½ x 42in. Estimate $5,500-$7,000. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – Jasper52’s online auction of American quilts and textiles on Thursday, Feb. 18, features an amazing collection of nearly 90 quilts as well as 42 handmade Grenfell mats from eastern Canada. Bid absentee or live online exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.

The Grenfell Mission was a medical mission active in Newfoundland and Labrador in the first half of the 20th century. Wilfred Grenfell, an English physician, established a cottage industry known as the Industrial that produced the hooked mats, famous for their scenes of the region. The mats were marketed in resort areas of New England and eventually in shops in New York City and Philadelphia. One of the mats in the auction is unusual because it is larger than most – 32½ by 42 inches – and depicts a map of the region (above; est. $5,500-$7,000). It was once exhibited at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont.

Another museum-quality item in the sale is an 1870s Princess Feather & Floral Wreath quilt (below), all hand appliqued and hand quilted with a complex swag border. It measures 96 by 96 inches and is in very good condition and the quilting has seven to eight stitches per inch (est. $3,500-$4,000).

Grenfell mats

Princess Feather & Floral Wreath quilt, 1870s, 96 x 96in. Estimate: $3,500-$4,000. Jasper52 image

A half-dozen Navajo woven rugs are included in the auction, including a large Ganado rug from the 1920s (est. $1,200-$1,400). Ganado rugs are among the most popular of all Navajo designs. The Ganado Red was inspired by an early trader, Juan Lorenzo Hubbell, founder of Hubbell Trading Post in 1878. Hubbell operated over 20 trading posts at one time across the Central Navajo Nation.

Grenfell mats

Navajo Ganado rug, 1920s, 62½ x 40½in. Estimate: $1,200-$1,400. Jasper52 image

The lot having the highest estimate in the sale is a pair of 17th century English needlework pictures of silk, wool, and metallic thread on linen. One of the pictures depicts a bird on a branch surrounded with flowering vines and berries, the other a large complex central flower between two facing perched birds. The decorative period frames are original to the pictures (est. $6,000-$7,000).

Grenfell mats

Pair of needlework pictures, English, circa 1660, silk, wool and metallic thread on linen, each 10¼ x 13½in framed. Estimate: $6,000-$7,000. Jasper52 image

A half-dozen hooked rugs are offered in the auction. The most remarkable rug exhibits scenes and symbols of the American Revolution. Pictured are Paul Revere, the Bunker Hill monument and the Old Church tower. Although it was made in the 1940s, it is not a kit rug. It is in excellent condition and has been professionally mounted for hanging (est. $2,500-$3,000).

Grenfell mats

Large hooked rug showing Revolutionary War scenes and symbols, 1940s. Estimate: $2,500-$3,000. Jasper52 image

The Jasper52 online auction of American quilts and textiles will be conducted on Thursday, Feb. 18, starting at 6 p.m. EST.


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