Plymouth Antiquarian Society

South Parlor, Hedge House Museum, courtesy of Dan Cutrona Photography




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In addition to its four historic properties, the Plymouth Antiquarian Society maintains a significant collection of American furnishings, decorative arts, china, toys, domestic artifacts, textiles and clothing, from the late 17th to the mid 20th centuries. Society archives include Plymouth and area family papers, books, journals, and photographs. The Society also holds an especially significant Clothing & Textile Collection with an estimated 5,000 items.

Rose T. Briggs Clothing & Textile Collection

Plymouth Antiquarian Society

Under the guidance of the Society's original curator, Rose T. Briggs, the Antiquarian Society developed an important collection representing New England's textile history. Included are clothing and dress accessories dating from the mid 18th century to the mid 20th century. The collection includes 18th and 19th century dresses, Quaker materials, early military uniforms, and a rare 1780s Harvard graduation suit. There are over 100 pairs of shoes and boots, including a 1750 silk brocaded pump belonging to Mercy Otis Warren. Headwear includes superb examples of 19th century silk, cloth, and straw bonnets and an 18th century judicial wig. Related artifacts include fans, umbrellas, parasols, canes, hair ornaments, and purses.

Of local significance are Pilgrim costumes worn at Plymouth's Tercentenary events in the 1920s, and a collection of 19th century men's neckwear by local manufacturer Benjamin Hathaway, including stocks in several stages of construction from his original workshop.

The collection also includes textile furnishings, printed textiles, coverlets, quilts, blankets, and a needlework collection with approximately 125 pieces of embroidery, including 32 samplers, and over 100 textile-working tools.

The textile collection has served for many years as the basis for exhibitions, educational programs, and scholarly research. The collection is open by appointment for research purposes. Textile related tours and programs may be available by advance arrangement.

Chiltonville Sampler Added to the Antiquarian Collection
PAS Doten samplerAn unusual piece of needlework was recently found in Chiltonville, Plymouth’s historic rural village. An early 19th century sampler was rediscovered, attached to the back of a WWII needlework picture from Occupied Japan, a souvenir brought home by a Plymouth serviceman in 1946. The sampler was embroidered in silk on a linen ground by Marcia Doten of Chiltonville, sometime in the early 1820s. It features an unfinished design of a large basket of flowers, with some of the original pencil drawing visible in the unworked area.
Your contribution to our Needlework Conservation Fund will help us conserve the Doten sampler. All donations will be used for the care and conservation of the Antiquarian Society’s collection of historic needlework, which includes 45 girlhood samplers. For more information, email or call 508-746-0012.

    For more information, contact:
Plymouth Antiquarian Society
P.O. Box 3773
Plymouth, MA 02361
Phone 508-746-0012