Historical information

A silk patchwork quilt in a hexagons pattern originally owned by the Denbigh family of ‘Wimba’. The Denbigh family is recorded as living at ‘Park Villa’ ‘near Kew’ in 1856. John Denbigh was at this stage the superintendent of the local Baptist school. By 1869 they are listed as residing in Cotham Road. John Sharp Denbigh’s death in 1875 resulted in the sale of Wimba.


This is an important early English silk hexagons quilt with outstanding technical workmanship, and is well-provenanced.

Physical description

The quilt is constructed in the popular hexagon pattern of silk off-cuts of an earlier period. Hexagon patchwork quilts were typically constructed of individual hexagons, which were formed using paper or card templates. Where these are visible, it would indicate that writing paper was used to form the templates. The quilt is unlined and has a green silk border, added at a later date. Early 19th Century patchwork quilts tended to use cotton to create the hexagons, whereas silk became the preferred medium mid-century. The quilt has been dated to the middle decades of the 19th century due to the colour range, and the exclusion of black silk hexagons. Most of the silk used in the quilt has a sheen, however there is some use of velvet in one or two larger hexagons. The exposed reverse of the quilt includes a large amount of very fine hand stitching.An unlined quilt was typically used as a summer spread.