Linen and cotton
Dated 1832 (towel); 1834 (pillow)
Towel: 18.5″ x 51″
Pillow: 18″ x 23.5″
Elisabeth Dillier (1805-1847)
The Dillier family was from Denver in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Little is known of Elisabeth Dillier, at this time no official records can be found to document her life. Her family is buried in the cemetery of the Muddy Creek Lutheran Evangelical Church in Denver, Lancaster County and the tombstones of Elisabeth and her family are inscribed in German.
Rather than making samplers, women from Germanic cultures in Pennsylvania made other forms of embroidered textiles. Decorated long narrow linen towels were made “just for nice” and to showcase the needle arts of the women of the family. Pillowcases as heavily decorated as Elisabeth’s were also saved for special occasions. These pieces of needlework have survived in remarkable condition and unusually, have remained together. They have a history in the collection of Pennsylvania textile scholar and collector Tandy Hersh.