English Needlework, ca. 1750 (Georgian Period)

Value (2006) | $15,000 Auction$20,000 Auction

GUEST:
I got them at a garage sale, probably about six or seven years ago. I picked them up just because they said, "Pick me up." I guess it was part of the color, uh, the style, and basically, just... I liked them.

APPRAISER:
And when you bought them, did they tell you anything about them?

GUEST:
They had no idea what they were.

APPRAISER:
No idea at all?

GUEST:
They said something that their grandmother had and they didn't want it anymore.

APPRAISER:
Well, they're English needlework done during the Georgian period. I would guess somewhere around, uh, 1750-ish, and they have a lot of things going for them. The colors are just wonderful. In one, you have a tortoise and in the other, you've got what appears to be either a porcupine or a hedgehog, and he's caught a snake. And the spandrels that go around the edges of the reserve-- you'll notice they're snakes. The imagery of this would have to really be researched. I'm not really certain why they've put together a tortoise and a porcupine, and what the significance of the snakes are.

GUEST:
Okay...

APPRAISER:
But I can tell you that the quality of the workmanship on these is really, extremely good. The background is almost all done in a pettipoint stitch, and there are other forms of needlepoint in here, too, but mixed with all this needlepoint background, we have a lot of embroidery going on. In this area, on the tortoise, and right here beside it, we've got a lot of French knots and a lot of other things like satin stitches and other forms of embroidery. And one thing that's very unusual about these is that they have a lot of wrapped metallic threads, which is quite unusual. Well, I would like to suggest to you that you take them to a framer who does good conservation framing. Make sure they put a spacer, probably on the edges of the frame, so that you can let the textile breathe.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Okay? I haven't asked you the big question, which is: what did you pay for them?

GUEST:
They were very expensive.

APPRAISER:
Very expensive?

GUEST:
Very expensive. I paid $20 apiece for them.

APPRAISER:
$20 apiece.

GUEST:
$40 for the set.

APPRAISER:
$40 total. Well, I would say that at a good international auction, I think they would probably sell for somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000, and if you had the right buyers and you got two of them going after it, it could go up higher than that. But they're absolutely exquisite.

GUEST:
That's amazing. And that's... together, that would be 15...

APPRAISER:
Together, $15,000 to $20,000. That's not a bad deal for a $40 investment.

GUEST:
No, that's, that's a wonderful investment. Um, just a silly rhetorical question. You're serious?

APPRAISER:
I'm serious. (both laughing) Yes, I am serious.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Szescila Appraisal Service
Houston, TX
Appraised value (2006)
$15,000 Auction$20,000 Auction
Event
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)
Period
18th Century
Form
Embroidery
Material
Cloth

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