That “aha” moment, when a photo in a book bears a resemblance to a quilt patch.
It might be a stretch, but these Flower Patches of yellow, white, and brown reminded me of a photo I’d seen in a costume history book. I just couldn’t recall where! All I could remember was that it was very yellow and had something to do with parasols and a theme exotic to western eyes, like something from the “Orient.”
Finally, I found this illustration from Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915, by Sharon Sadako Takeda. (Fabulous book!) It’s definitely yellow. And the pattern is certainly exotic. The quilt fabric, however, is heavily glazed, and I have no idea whether it was used for apparel or furnishings. I re-read the section on yellow dyes in Susan Greene’s Wearable Prints hoping to identify the type, but decided I’m too inexperienced for that.
Back of the patch with a snippet of text, perhaps from the “Something Register.”
As for date, the little bit of text printed on the back of one of the pieces was an enticing clue. I was surprised to see how many early publications appeared after a keyword search. Even after I filtered the results by spelling and phrasing, there were way too many to pin it down. And I found that many publishers “borrowed” and reprinted much more often than I would have expected – even for that era. But I did get it narrowed to circa 1808 or ’09, the British Register, Political Register, Annual Register, Literary Register, Cobbett’s Register…. At that point, I guess it registered with me that the exact source would remain uncertain.
The right side of the patch showing an arm holding a – parasol?
This piece shows a person’s face.
The reverse of the patch above, with writing from a copybook.
A patch with a parasol.
And the back of the patch with a parasol, also with copybook writing.