Thursday 7 January 2010

The Bellamy Quilt Mystery - Carrow House Museum - Norwich

Philippa Sims of Carrow House Museum, Norwich this afternoon sent me these images of a late 19th century quilt in the museum collection. Philippa says she was asked to look at the Bellamy Quilt some years ago. The name intrigued her since her great-aunt had married into the Bellamy family, prosperous butchers in the port of Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast. Philippa's mother had always kept in touch with her Bellamy cousins so, after some family research, Philippa found that the quilt had been made by Herbert Bellamy who married Charlotte (nee Springall) in 1891. Philippa's mother's first cousins were the grandchildren of Herbert's brother. It was Herbert & Charlotte's daughter Gladys who donated the quilt to Carrow in the 1970s.

When Philippa saw the quilt she was stunned by its wonderful mixture of motifs and its bright freshness. Each of the motifs was stitched on with loving care and what fun they must have had choosing the designs! But where did they get all the designs? That is the mystery you can perhaps help to solve. Some of the motifs are local objects, some household items but the others are puzzles. Are they copied from Victorian scraps - very much in fashion at that time - or books?
Attempts have been made to decipher the music in waltz time, but have failed to come up with a name. Any thoughts on this would be warmly welcomed.


  1. Amazing quilting, love looking at antique quilts.


  2. is there a gallery re Quaker Sampler Chart.
    As this is my first chart i would love to see
    some in a gallery.
    Today i bought a light with magnifying glass
    So that i can now see the smaller linen.

  3. Great & stunning job! It's a really beautifull quilt!Waou!Couson