1879 English Needlework Sampler

Value (2013) | $1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction

This was my grandmother's sampler that allowed her to become a home ec teacher. There were no exams. She had to produce whatever she could do. And there's tatting and lacework and knitting and so on all over this. She was accepted because of this.

Well, she was a very talented person. There's just an infinite variety of stitches here, and I find it a little... rather poignant in the fact that she's included a couple of bars here of "Home, Sweet Home." I noted with interest that you have a photograph of the woman who made the piece.

This is my grandmother.

Do you know whether she continued to do needlework throughout her life?

Because I was quite young when she died, I don't remember at all her doing anything other than wearing rosary beads round her neck and praying. (laughs) I do remember that vividly.

It's not that this is like a terrifically early or rare sampler, but I think the fact that all these pieces have been put together into this... Well, it's a veritable collage, if you will-- it demonstrates that her talents were varied and considerable. This is very typically an English needlework. Now, this gal was from Oldham, and you say that's near Manchester, England.

Near Manchester, England, yes.

And it's dated, I believe, 1879.


Her maiden name, Harriet Taylor, is here, "A pupil teacher in St. Marie's School."


Now we get down to deciding just what its value is. For a sampler enthusiast, this is quite a rare piece. I think the value would be in the area of $1,500 or $2,500 anyway. I think it's great fun.


Appraisal Details

Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Update (2013)
$1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Toronto, ON (August 07, 1999)
19th 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.