Mary Mapes Dodge family quilt. Mary Mapes was a noted American author and editor of children's books, best known for Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, which became an instant best seller and eventually a children's classic.
c. 1840, Newark, NJ. Central Lonestar with trapunto motifs quilted throughout, red and blue printed fabrics from the 1830-50 time period. Cotton, 86 x 84 inches, excellent condition with small amount of dropout in red fabric. Probably made by her mother, Sophia Furman Mapes (1808-1885), in honor of Mary's marriage in 1851. From estate of granddaughter Josephine Gould.
Mary's family was well known in Newark and a number of New Jersey histories mention her father and family. Her father James Jay Mapes (d. 1866) was a highly respected figure in scientific, artistic, and intellectual circles in New York before moving to Newark. He was appointed a professor of chemistry and natural philosophy at the American Academy in New York and later at the newly founded National Academy of Design. He was also an accomplished amateur artist and held a number of patents for innovative industrial processes. His central interest was in the application of scientific principles to agriculture, and in 1847 he purchased a farm in Newark, with the idea of putting his theories into practice. The property was in Clinton Township, later part of the Weequahic section of Newark, in an area also sometimes known as "Waverly." The family lived first in an old farmhouse (known locally as the Hedden House) and later in a more substantial "mansion" (torn down in 1904). James Mapes soon gathered around him a circle of the intellectual and artistic elite of Newark, including Seth Boyden, Thomas Kinney and Oba Woodruff of the Newark Daily Advertiser, Thomas Dunn English, the Inness and Durand families, and many others. The household also attracted eminent guests from New York, such as Mapes' friend Horace Greeley.