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The Westbury Quilt

  • Owner:
    National Gallery of Australia
  • Location:
  • Maker:
    Hampson Family Members
  • Pattern:
  • Pattern:
  • Pattern:
  • Pattern:
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 223
    Width: 191


The quilt was made by members of the Hampson family in Tasmania between 1900 and 1903. It was given to Mary Gray, a neighbour who cared for the last surviving member of the Hampson family. "Members of the Hampson family who lived at 'Fern Bank' near Westbury in northern Tasmania, made this quilt. John and Mary Hampson settled in the area in 1865 and had seven children. As the dates on the quilt show, it was made between 1901-1903, Mary and five daughters and two sons were living at 'Fern Bank' at this time, so work could be carried out by any of the family members. In 1948 the elder of the two sons, John died and as the other male William was disabled, he and his unmarried sisters moved to Westbury. It does not appear that any of the Hampson family produced offspring. William was the last surviving member of the Hampson family and during his last years, he was cared for by his next door neighbour Mary Gray. William died in 1955, leaving the house to the Church of England and some land and possessions to Mary Gray: including the quilt. Mary had a very small house and as there was nowhere to hang the quilt it was given to the Fitzpatrick sisters (Genevieve and Myra) to hang in their Fitzpatrick Inn in Westbury. The quilt was purchased in 1990 for the National Gallery of Australia with the generous assistance of funds from the National Gallery's Australian Textile Fund." [NGA]


"The quilt is a patchwork of red cotton fabric. Each piece is decorated with embroidery in thick white cotton thread and with cotton appliqué. The edge of the quilt is decorated with a red cotton unlined border strip decorated with cutwork daisies, producing a scalloped edge. The images and inscriptions carried on each of the pieces of various sizes are a time capsule to notions and everyday life at the turn of the century. In the centre is Queen Victoria surrounded by a garland of floral emblem of the Empire. This square is dated 1901. Other squares carry scenes of daily life, farm animals and mottoes. "When a woman throws herself at a man head she seldom hit the mark." There are several spelling errors within the inscriptions. The latest dated piece is 'Dec 1903'. The embroidery is quite crude and large and shows the work of two hands." [NGA] The quilt is not padded. It is lined with pink cotton flannelette.
2230 x 1910mm

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