Bath’s American Museum displays ‘oldest known quilt’

The “oldest quilt in existence” is on display in Bath, the American Museum in Bath has said.

The patchwork coverlet, which was made in 1718, is date inscribed, and is on show at the Claverton Manor venue to mark the quilt’s 300th anniversary.

The coverlet will join the museum’s own world-renowned textile collection of over 250 quilts. The collection is acclaimed as the finest of its type in Europe, and the equal of many premier collections in the United States.

Chief curator Kate Hebert said the museum was “delighted” to display the 1718 coverlet.

She added: “It’s a huge honour to be the only location in the South of England where you’ll be able to see the 1718 coverlet this year.

“This is a unique opportunity to see this treasure of The Quilters’ Guild collection alongside our renowned quilt collection.”

The coverlet will be on display from 10 April to 29 July.

The American Museum in Britain opened to the public at Claverton Manor in 1961 with the aim of showcasing the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts and promoting Anglo-American understanding.

It is the only museum outside the United States to showcase the decorative arts of America.

The permanent collection includes more than 200 historic American quilts, pieces of Shaker furniture and Native American objects, plus 200 historical maps of the New World from the 12th Century to the Renaissance. The museum also has the most significant collection of American folk art in Europe.

The manor house is set within extensive grounds, which include an arboretum of American trees and expansive views across the Bath skyline.