1824 New Hampshire Needlework
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $18,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:07)
GUEST: I got it from my mother-in-law, who had a batch of these in her bureau drawer. Flung them out and said, "Do you want these?" And I said, "Yes, indeed I do." And that's how I came to have it. And the gal who made it at 11 years old in 1824 is my husband's great-grandfather's wife, but she was also his first cousin.
APPRAISER: And where was Elizabeth Berry living?
GUEST: She lived in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, and there was a school there, I think, that-- finished young ladies-- and she must have had some association with that.
APPRAISER: Well, this got all of us very excited at the folk-art table because, yes, you're absolutely right. There was a school. And I always think of needleworks in terms of women's education and how it evolved. We have a sneaking suspicion that it might be not quite Pittsfield, but very close by. About ten to 20 miles northwest of Pittsfield is Canterbury, New Hampshire.
GUEST: Canterbury, all right. The home of the Shakers.
APPRAISER: There's a very well-known group of needleworks which came out of Canterbury, many of which are distinguished by these two birds right here. Now, this is why I think it's Canterbury, or at least influenced by Canterbury, because of those two birds. Now, other Canterbury needleworks, in addition to the two birds, often will have two trees flanking them and strawberries between the banding instead of this fancy stitchwork. And certainly, given the proximity of the two locations, it would have been very easy for her to get there. Not only is this a wonderful document as far as women's education is concerned, it also demonstrated so much about Elizabeth's community, her education, her parents' ability to send her to a school where she would have learned needlework, and her eligibility for marriage. So this is a tremendous social document. It also hits on a lot of points for collectors. The 1820s is still a very desirable time that needlework collectors look for. And what really gets me about this needlework and which distinguishes it from others, is this fantastic blue color. The condition of this needlework is absolutely beautiful. Have you had it appraised before?
GUEST: No, I simply got it one day, and here it is.
APPRAISER: And you're interested in knowing something about value.
GUEST: Very-- yes, of course, yes.
APPRAISER: If this were a needlework from the 1820s from New Hampshire-- just a regular needlework-- I'd be valuing it at about $7,000 to $10,000, $8,000 to $12,000. With that blue I think it should be bumped up a little bit-- about $10,000 to $15,000. For insurance purposes, which is what you want because you're never going to sell it...
GUEST: Never, never.
APPRAISER: I would go as high as $18,000 for this needlework.
GUEST: That is absolutely unbelievable.
APPRAISER: It's wonderful.
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