Dallas Memorabilia & Tennessee Sampler (ca. 1833)

Value (2008) | $15,000 Auction

GUEST:
This is my great-great-grandmother, Nancy Jane Cochran, who came to Dallas from Tennessee. The sampler, she did when she was 16 years old and lived in Tennessee. And then after she married, she and her husband heard that there was real rich cotton farming in Dallas. And so they moved down to Texas. And there she was, according to the historic markers, the first practicing Methodist in Dallas County. And she was widowed right before the Civil War and, with her six children, had to keep the cotton growing and the cotton gin running in order to support them all.

APPRAISER:
The first thing I want to talk about is the sampler. Now, first of all, 16 is a little bit late to be doing a sampler. A lot of girls were married by then.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Oh, yeah. Most of the samplers that we see are nine, ten, 11, 12-years-old. The thing that makes this so great is the fact that it was done in Tennessee. Right here we see her maiden name, "Nancy J. Hughes," and underneath that is "M.C. Tennessee." Really hard to see, there's some fading there. And I think this is "November 18," and the date is "1833" right underneath there. Now, as far as samplers go, you look for other decorative elements. It's got a nice floral border. It's got a wonderful house. If you could do this as a young lady, that proved you were disciplined enough to become a good wife.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
It'd go over like a lead balloon today, wouldn't it? (both laughing) And then, the story goes on with the photographs that you have. There's her and her children, and one of her. And I guess the cabinet photograph, the biggest one closest to you, is later on in her life. As individual things, they're extremely desirable. The Dallas-related material, your photographs, they're going to be $2,000 or $3,000. Southern samplers with a lot of nice, decorative elements in good condition are really hard to find. And I'm very comfortable with an estimate on this. You know, in a really well-advertised auction, you could estimate that $6,000 to $8,000,

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
just the sampler. And then stand back and let them fight over it.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Now, in addition to the photographs, you have all this other paperwork and historical data that sort of documents the family coming to Dallas, being in Dallas. And when you put all that together, that makes it a valuable package to people that are here in Texas.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And I talked to several of my colleagues, and we felt like that when you added everything up together, the fair market value of that would probably be around $15,000.

GUEST:
Wow. I'd better watch out for my cousins. (both laughing)

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2008)
$15,000 Auction
Event
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Material
Paper, Textile

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