Lambertville Historical Society to host exhibit of antique quilts

Friendship Star/Rittenhouse Marriage Quilt circa 1852, a wedding gift to Elizabeth Rittenhouse and Gersham Lambert (Photo: LHS)

The Lambertville Historical Society will host a special exhibit of antique quilts featuring a lecture by expert Dana Balsamo at James Wilson Marshall House in July.

The exhibit will showcase rarely displayed quilts, such as the 1843 sampler “Dilts Quilt” that includes many hand-signed ink and stamped signatures and small pictures, the 1843 King’s Crown Friendship Quilt that includes many signatures from the Lambertville area, and the Friendship Star/Rittenhouse Marriage Quilt circa 1852.

For the first time, the Victorian linen “splasher” (hand towel) made for Ashbel Russell Welch by his mother will be displayed, accompanied by documentation tracing ancestry to Senator John Lambert.

Victorian linen “splasher,” or hand towel (Photo: LHS)

In her lecture, Balsamo will discuss and examine quilts of Lambertville and Hunterdon County, as well as highlights from her private collection, on July 6 from 1 to 2 p.m., and reprise the same presentation on July 13, also from 1 to 2 p.m. Due to limited space, RSVP is required four days in advance of either date via email to

The general quilt exhibit will be open to the public over two weekends: July 6 and July 7 from 1 to 4 p.m., and  July 13 and July 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free and there is a suggested donation of $5.

The James Wilson Marshall House, built in 1816 and the childhood home of the discoverer of gold in California, is located at 60 Bridge St. in  Lambertville.

Dana Balsamo (Photo: LHS)

Dana Balsamo is the principal of Material Pleasures. She appraises, restores and carries a large selection of antique and vintage textiles including: quilts, lace, fabric, and handkerchiefs.

The Lambertville Historical Society is the recipient of an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

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