20th Century Hooked Rug

20th Century Hooked Rug

This lively hand-made shirred rug depicts an assertive ram against a bold dark background with floating whimsical shapes, grapes and birds, framed by a sawtooth border. The artist hand-dyed each wool scrap using nineteenth century technique and palette.


Originally fashioned by rural housewives for use as floor coverings, hooked rugs provided color, pattern and warmth to 19th century country homes. American rug hooking techniques originated in Maine, with fabric scraps tightly packed together and stitched onto homespun backing. The design motifs on early American hooked rugs varied, consisting predominantly of geometric patterns, floral designs, and animals. No matter what the motif, hooked rugs displayed a great sense of individual expression.