Woman’s Relief Corps Ribbon Quilt, ca. 1900
This quilt was given to me back by my grandmother, who brought it to me one day in 1962 and said, "Put this on a closet shelf and look at it in about 40 or 50 years." So, unfortunately, I kind of did that and I didn't really find out as much history as I would ask her today if she were here. It was made by my grandmother. When she was growing up, she was the eldest of 18. And because of a disease that was in the family and the community, they sent her to live with her grandmother, so she grew up with a lady who was a member of the Woman's Relief Corps, an auxiliary to the G.A.R.
So she went to all these different conventions for the Woman's Relief Corps, which was the group that supported the veterans of the Union army from the Civil War.
Most of them are dated and they are primarily from Iowa, but she went to other states as well. I think it's very interesting that she collected so many different ribbons. Do you know when it was put together? Do you have any idea about that?
Not exactly. It must have been made sometime between, I would say, probably 1911 and 1930.
Well, most of the ribbons are actually from the 1890s. This one is from 1901. The style of this is done like a crazy quilt, which was very popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It really looks like this was put together slightly earlier than that. This ribbon, which is dated 1909, actually appears to be sort of an afterthought. It looks like she'd already put the whole quilt together, then went to this conference and put it on. So I think it's possibly put together a little earlier than you do. Most of these ribbons from the W.R.C. don't sell for a great deal of money. They're actually sort of difficult to sell. They sell between $10 and $15 and the ones that you have on here that have damage-- say like that one-- would sell for a little less. But what your grandmother did was put them together and made it into a piece of artwork.
And it's really very interesting and very appealing. She's put about a hundred of the ribbons on here. So, if you were to insure it, it would probably insure for somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500.
Thank you so much, Beth.
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