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    Silk-Embroidered Mourning Picture

    Appraised Value:

    $15,000 - $20,000

    Appraised on: June 3, 2000

    Appraised in: Austin, Texas

    Appraised by: Nancy Druckman

    Category: Decorative Arts

    Episode Info: Roadshow Remembers (#1017)

    Originally Aired: November 6, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Needlework, Embroidery
    Material: Silk
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $15,000 - $20,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:21)


    Appraised By:

    Nancy Druckman
    Folk Art
    Senior Vice President & Director, American Folk Art

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I bought this as a gift for my husband. He was born on George Washington's birthday, which is February 22. I won't say what year. (appraiser laughs) I was excited. I went to a little antique shop in Richardson, Texas--

    APPRAISER: Uh-huh.

    GUEST: --and I told the lady I was looking for something special for my husband for George Washington's birthday.

    APPRAISER: Yeah.

    GUEST: And she brought this out and said that it was a memorial, a mourning picture,

    APPRAISER: Right.

    GUEST: and she thought that it was made sometime around 1820 or 1825 and thought that it was made as a memorial for the death of the three presidents: Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. I thought it was beautiful and visited it every day--

    APPRAISER: Right.

    GUEST: --for about six weeks until I could afford to buy it.

    (both laughing)

    APPRAISER: This is a silk-embroidered mourning picture that was made in South Hadley, Massachusetts, at the Abby Wright School. Abby Wright was a schoolmistress who had a school in South Hadley, Massachusetts, for the education of young girls, where she taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and also skill with needle and thread. And that school operated from 1803 to 1811. And as you can see, we have a combination of media and techniques here. There's painting on silk, there's stitchery on silk, but what is the key characteristic of Abby Wright is this coiled silver thread, which adorns the three urns on top of this monument. And the reality, I think is, this was probably made for a family, because Abby Wright stopped teaching school in 1811, so that would have been too early. But it's a remarkable thing, in the original glass, in the original frame, with that marvelous shimmer to it. And these things are extremely popular. How much did you pay for this silk embroidery?

    GUEST: I paid a week's salary: $500.

    APPRAISER: We would probably estimate this at around $15,000 to $20,000.

    GUEST: Oh! How much?

    APPRAISER: $15,000 to $20,000.

    GUEST: (laughing) $15,000 to $20,000?


    GUEST: Oh. I need to get insur...

    APPRAISER: You're blushing.

    (both laughing)

    GUEST: That's unbelievable.

    APPRAISER: Yeah.

    GUEST: I'm going to faint. Whoo!

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