August 1, 2008

Quilt Hunting, part 2

Well, it wasn't only quilts that we found at the O'Keefe ranch - there was also a cowboy exhibition in the museum, with all sorts of artifacts, including these beautiful embroidered gauntlets.

The caption reads: "Beaded and fringed gauntlets were extremely popular among the cowboys of the BC Interior. These gauntlets from the South Okanagan are ornamented with beadwork and embroidery".

When I first saw the gauntlets, they reminded me of the embroidery you tend to see on Canadian First Nations' items, such as moccasins and gloves. There are a few examples in the Textile Museum of Canada, such as this embroidered and beaded decorative cuff (presumably for a coat), made by Woodlands Cree in Western Canada, c. 1880, or this pipe bag from Ontario, of about the same time.

Most of the photos in my previous post were from the Schubert House, on the ranch -- but of course, there was a main house, which was decorated in rich style as befitted a successful ranching entrepreneur of the late 1800s.

The recreated ranch house kitchen...

... with a triple Irish Chain quilt on display below the window.

The very expensive William Morris wallpaper on the stairwell and hall. Somehow this stairwell manages to be dark and rich-looking, but not gloomy. Perhaps it's because of the light wood of the banisters and the high contract on the wallpaper, or perhaps also because the staircase is freestanding and there are no supports or posts constricting the space?

You can't see it in this picture, but a judiciously-placed mirror enabled the lady of the house to glance up to the upstairs landing from the parlour - just to make sure that there were no eavesdroppers amongst the children of the house!

And finally, upstairs in one of the bedrooms, a beautiful washstand sits next to the bed with a faded beauty of a log cabin quilt. The colours of the room are cool and comfortable, but not dull - simple and charming.

- Now I want to go and make a log cabin quilt!


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