Antique Quilts: From Stella Rubin Antiques, Quilt expert and author

Patriotic Tobacco Flannels Quilt: Circa 1910; Pennsylvania

Patriotic Tobacco Flannels Quilt: Circa 1910; Pennsylvania


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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Quilts: Pre 1920: Item # 1404160
Stella Rubin Antique Quilts and Decorative Arts
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Long before the hazards of smoking became known, tobacco companies offered premiums included with the purchase of cigars and cigarettes. They were often flannel panels with the flags of different countries. The flannels were generally used in one of two ways. The premium was given away by the tobacco company in exchange for coupons that were redeemed for gifts offered in catalogs that were distributed by the tobacco companies. Coupons were gathered and saved until the consumer had enough to send for an item in the catalog. A wide variety of items including furniture and sporting goods were available for redemption. This fad lasted from about 1870 through 1920. A second use of the flannels was to incorporate them in home decorations such as pillows; table covers and quilts. The quilts were generally fairly basic in design. The example offered here is a notable exception. It appears to be a unique design. Flannels of three different sizes were incorporated into a dynamic, circular pattern. Most of the flannels depict flags of the world. The rectangular strips are embroidered over the applique. The quilt measures 79" x 85". Family history says it was made either by Laurel L. May or Mary Ann Ziegler of York County, Pennsylvania; circa 1915. Measurements are 78" x 82".