Probably Irish
about 1794

Object Place: Flemish


185.5 x 246.5 cm (73 1/16 x 97 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Linen damask

Not On View


Europe, Textiles and Fashion Arts



White linen damask tablecloth showing scattered sprigs surrounding, in center, an eagle withspread wings carrying in its beak a scroll inscribed “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and an olive branch in one foot and fifteen arrows in the other; conventionalized clouds above its head. Partial borders at long sides show acanthus band broken at center by a rectangular medallion showing a pair of flaming torches and a rectangular plaque. Cut at sides and ends; hemmed all around. Brown stains; a few small holes and repairs. Tablecloth, said to have been presented to Colonel James Swan in Paris c. 1794.


1794-1796, acquired by Colonel James Swan (probably in Paris) and sent to his wife in Boston [see note 1]; by descent to Swan's great grand daughter, Miss Elizabeth Howard Bartol; bequeathed by Miss Bartol to a Mrs. Ellington; by descent to Ellington's daughter, Mrs. John O. Ellington, Savannah, GA; purchased from Mrs. Ellington by the MFA for $100 (Accession date: September 18, 1958).

[1] The table cloth is said to have been presented to Colonel Swan when he was Purchasing Agent in the United States for the French Republic from 1794 to 1796, according to MFA files.

Credit Line

Textile Income Purchase Fund