Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Mary Balch School Mourning Picture, ca. 1805

    Appraised Value:

    $20,000 - $30,000

    Appraised on: July 28, 2007

    Appraised in: Louisville, Kentucky

    Appraised by: Ronald Bourgeault

    Category: Folk Art

    Episode Info: Louisville, Hour 1 (#1213)

    Originally Aired: April 21, 2008

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Needlework
    Material: Thread, Textile
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $20,000 - $30,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (2:08)


    Appraised By:

    Ronald Bourgeault
    Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Silver
    Owner, Appraiser and Chief Auctioneer
    Northeast Auctions

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This was a piece that hung in my grandmother's dining room. It was left to me. It hung in my mother's dining room, now hangs in my dining room. I don't really know where the piece came from. It's one of a few that we have, similar, but not quite alike.

    APPRAISER: Now, where did your grandmother live?

    GUEST: My grandmother grew up in Mayfield, Kentucky. Now, here dad was a U.S. senator, and traveled to Washington, D.C., all the time. I don't know if it came from his side or where it actually came from.

    APPRAISER: You said you had a group of these?

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: It's actually from the Mary Balch School of Providence, Rhode Island. It's quite a wonderful one, one of the most elaborate ones I've ever seen. It was done around 1800 to 1810.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: There are several features that are special. Number one, it's very large size. Number two, this wonderful original glass mat which was painted on the reverse. It's known as an eglomise mat, which is quite unusual to have the original. And the original beautiful gilded frame. This was done at the school or the academy and then the framer would come in with the eglomise panel and the frame and frame them, usually right in the school. There are some very unusual features on the needlework. Number one, it's silk on silk and also has chenille motifs here. And the chenille is actually a nubbly type of silk thread that they used. And chenille, in French, actually means "caterpillar." And if you look down here, it looks like the surface of a caterpillar's skin. It is what is known as a mourning picture. And these were done when somebody died and it was a memorial to them. So I think it's a great New England historic, documented piece, done in a known school. Now, have you ever had it appraised?

    GUEST: No, I have not.

    APPRAISER: Well, it has a retail value of between $20,000 and $30,000...

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: ...because of its all- original condition.

    GUEST: Wow. Thank you very much.

    APPRAISER: Thank you.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube