1769 Stonington Connecticut Sampler

Value (2009) | $25,000 Insurance$30,000 Insurance

It was a wedding gift from my father-in-law, Fred. My husband and I were married about 18 years ago. He had this restored and framed, and about two, three months after we were married, he presented this to us as a gift.

Now, did you know about it beforehand?

I knew nothing about it. Neither did my husband. I do know that it hung in my father-in-law's family home in Healdsburg, California, just on the wall with little pins. And he remembers it being in that living room his entire life growing up.

It is beautifully framed. It's not a period frame, but this is the way we like to see them-- floating, not constrained, not pressed up against the glass. You brought it over and I said, "Do you know the history at all?" And you didn't, but we got on the phone with Fred and Fred gave us some help on that and he said that as far as he knows, this comes out of Stonington, Connecticut. It's very, very early. It's not easy to see because we have a little fading here, but over in here it says 1769. That's really early for most needlework. It's not that we don’t see any of it, but the vast majority of it is 19th century. We have her name here, which is Eunice York. I know it's hard to see. But the things we look for in needlework in terms of value, they’re very, very straightforward. We look for strong graphic content. We will see hundreds of needleworks in a Roadshow season. Most of them are just letters and numbers. And letters and numbers are reading the phone book. The phonebook is not graphically interesting. So what we look for are strong borders, like we see here, and we have great, strong graphic content. We've got the house, we've got the trees, we've got the birds. This is Irish stitch that we have in here. And color is really, really important. We've lost some color, but the good news is that the blues and greens that we see here and here and here, they’re all still there. The Connecticut school is one, at this early stage, we don't know enough about. I'd love to tell you it’s this school, it’s this mistress. My sense is that this is going to stay in the family.


We're looking for insurance value.


In the current market, which, of course, we all know is not what it was a few years ago, I would easily appraise this at $25,000 to $30,000.

Oh! (laughs) Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Wait until I tell Fred and my husband. Oh, my God. That's amazing, thank you so much.

Well that's great, I’m glad it's...

(laughs) Oh, God! That's amazing, thank you. Wow. You've made my father-in-law so happy.

Appraisal Details

J. M. Flanigan American Antiques
Baltimore, MD
Appraised value (2009)
$25,000 Insurance$30,000 Insurance
San Jose, CA (August 15, 2009)
18th Century

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.