Tuesday, March 18, 2008

mystery men

Help, who are these mystery menfolk figures? They are quite funky. I'm guessing they are known cartoon characters of the era as I've since found the first figure (police man?) in another redwork quilt.
UPDATE:  these figures are called Brownies and created by Palmer Cox.  Quite popular in the early 20th century, 1900's.

The quilt also has a boy scout leader insignia from the 1910's (above left) so I'd date it c. 1920. This quilt has a variety of figures and blocks of different sizes not the uniform sized blocks of later redwork. Note the above block has the boy scout insignia, the small dutch couple and large floral basket (the entire quilt is full of these unusual combinations). Please post if you have any ideas on these characters.


  1. Thanks to anonymous for the following: The little characters in your red work quilt are Brownies by Palmer Cox. In Better Homes and Gardens Story Book (1950) one of the short stories is The Brownies' Circus. I love the little guy's they get into all sorts of trouble.
    I've been meaning to update the post as my friends Mona Covington and Polly Mello also named these mystery men as Cox's Brownies.
    Thanks all.

  2. Sandra,

    Thanks so much for posting this information. I have a 1930s Redwork quilt with the top left image that looks like a policeman. It's great to know the source! I included this design in a book I published called, "Emma's Quilt" - currently out of print. Pat

  3. sandra I just received a 1909 redwork quilt VERY similar to the mysterymen quilt on your site. I have no idea of its value or how to care for it. It was made by a 10 year old boy named Gerry Froehlich in Ohio in 1909 who is the great great grandfather of my husband. Can you advise what to do with this quilt.

  4. Redworkquiltowner,
    I don't have your email to reply directly so please write again with your address. As to value, I can help you find a certified quilt appraiser in your area. If you have or can find documentation of the maker, his age and date made-that will increase the value.


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