Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dr. Dunton's Book


Dr. William Rush Dunton's seminal quilt history tome, Old Quilts, arrived in my mailbox today. I thought the connoisseurs in the audience would appreciate pictures of some of the details about the book. It was a library copy, and is stamped "DISCARD" in three places. Wow, if they didn't want it, I would've taken it. The original price was $5.00, and my copy is not numbered. And of course, there are pictures of the Achsah Goodwin Wilkins quilts!












While I was looking at the book and thinking about the chintz medallion, which, by the way, is not in the book, something occurred to me...


There's an uncanny William connection. Achsah Goodwin Wilkins's father was named William. Her husband was named William. They had a son named William. The man who documented and published her quilts in 1946 was named William. My name is William. Coincidence? Or is Achsah Goodwin Wilkins actually watching over her quilts? 

11 comments:

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    1. 1946! It was before a lot of things. :)

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  2. and my husband's name is William, and my son's name is William, one of my uncles was named William, actually we call my son Willy. What a coincidence!I met a gal online about 6 yrs ago, we had so many things the same in our lives it was spooky. and we are still friends and still email each other, we are on many of the same lists and groups. I bet if we really started listing similarities with other people we would realize how much we are the same. Nan in FL

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    1. Well, I guess it is a fairly common name, but it seems uncanny to me that the chintz medallion ended up with another WIlliam.

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  3. I have not seen that book before. Very cool. Any photos of pieced or applique pillowcases in it?

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    1. I didn't see any, but will look more closely later.

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  4. All those discard stamps makes me wonder how many of these ended up in the bin...so sad.

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    1. And then there's the quilts. Only three of Achsah Wilkins's quilts in the book have known locations. Researchers know where a couple others are - with family members - but the rest are M.I.A. The one I got is among the quilts that were not documented by Dunton.

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  5. Libraries are no judges of the value of books. Luckily, I have had a numbered copy of this book for years although I paid close to $350. dollars for mine. It is a landmark volume and at the time, I felt it was worth it. Not being textile specialists, librarians often discard donated books that could be enjoyed by quilters.

    I remember donating a huge box of brand new books to my local library (copies of books I had inadvertently purchased twice or had bought to review, not knowing I would be sent a free review copy). At the time, I was teaching at Community Education. One of my adult students asked me to recommend a good general reference book and I mentioned one I had just donated. The next week, she said it was not only not on the shelves, it was not in the catalog.

    I was told that it must have been stolen but in checking myself, it seems that all of the books I donated were "stolen." I guess the rule of thumb is that whatever good intentions one may have, if something is given away, control of the item is lost forever. I can see you are having fun, Willy. I am happy for you.

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    1. I have a plan for my quilt books. They will eventually go to a quilt and textile museum, where there's a better chance they would be saved and enjoyed. Several of the books are autographed, and some have my name and/or address stamp inside. One day after we're all long gone, someone will open up those books and see the inscriptions and my name, and maybe they'll discover there was this guy who really loved quilts...

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    2. Oh, I just love this, Bill! " there was this guy who really loved quilts..." No better epitaph in my mind! It says so much about you and your depth and love of the arts in such a basic truth kind of way! You have done so very much with this love of yours and you have spread that love around!

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