Jacquard Coverlet, ca. 1850
This coverlet came to my wife and myself from my mother-in-law about ten years ago, and we use it as a wall hanging. And I understand that my wife's great-great-grandmother sheared the sheep, dyed the wool, made the thread, designed the pattern, and wove this all in the early 1850s.
So that's the story that came down through the family?
Okay, first of all, this is called a Jacquard coverlet. J-A-C-Q-U-A-R-D. The technology to make these kind of patterns was invented by a Frenchman, and they used that technology a lot in America. And you see a lot of coverlets like this in the Midwest, Pennsylvania, New York, pretty much all over the United States. And what they did was they would set their looms up, and there was a set of cards at the top of the loom that would drop the heddles down in the loom so that they could do these real complicated patterns. Now, this particular one has a combination of linen fabric and wool. Where you see the blue, that's the wool, and where you see the white, that's the linen. And almost always, they have a nice border, they have a nice cohesive design. And this one, of course, has a nice center medallion. And the other thing that's neat about these is that you have, basically, two ways to display it.
And the thing I really like about this one, too, is that it has a finished border. And you told me earlier you've never had this appraised before.
No, uh-uh. Okay, well...Like I say, it's just because it's, uh... sentimental value is the only reason we're interested in it.
Well, in today's market, a nice blue-and-white coverlet like this would sell for at least in the $800 to $1,200 range.
Mmm. Worth preserving. (both laughing)
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.