Antique Hand-Crocheted Tablecloth Made at Ellis Island circa 1916
This antique tablecloth was handmade by a woman named Catarina Fricano while immigrating to America from Naples, Italy in 1916. A family heirloom entrusted to the Vintage Kitchen, so that it could find a new home with someone who would appreciate its history, this handmade linen is more than just a tablecloth. It's a symbol of American dreams and a new life.
Hand-crocheted in 1916 while waiting to dock at Ellis Island by 20-year-old Catarina, this cloth became a source of pride for a woman who eventually settled in the Chicago area where she married, changed her to name to the more American-sounding Catherine, and raised a family of boys who eventually fought for the US in WWII.
Beautifully made, there is not a broken segment in the entire tablecloth - a remarkable feat given its age, its travels around the country, and the circumstances in which it was made. Featuring a repetitive pattern of stars and circles the thread is strong and smooth with significant weight and a soft creamy white color similar to whole milk. Sized at 52" inches (width) x 82" inches (length) it fits best on rectangular and square tables given its dimensions, but also looks really pretty on a bed for use as a coverlet.
Not every heirloom in the shop comes with such a detailed origin story. We are so honored to be able to tell this one so completely. Read more about Catarina, her immigration experience, and how her tablecloth was passed down through generations of her family eventually winding up in the shop here...
Caserta passenger manifest featuring Catarina's name courtesy of ellisisland.org
- Wonderful antique condition
- Attributed to its original maker
In wonderful antique condition, there are no broken segments. There are two spots of a light coffee shade on two of the circle medallions near the edge of the cloth (second row) along the longest side. There has been no attempt made on our part to clean these spots due to the tablecloth's age. One spot is smaller than a dime, the other smaller than a nickel in size. Given the overall pattern and design of the cloth as well as the placement of the spots, neither is very noticeable. Please see photos.
Measures 52" inches (width) x 82" inches (length) and weighs 1.12 lbs