Victorian Crazy Quilt
This was my grandfather's aunt's, who lived in Mercer County, Kentucky, on a farm just outside of Harrodsburg. She was born in 1870, and we think she died in her 20s, so the quilt was probably made in the 1890s.
Well, it's the ultimate Victorian crazy quilt, and it's called a crazy quilt because each one of these patches of wool and velvet, in this case, are odd shaped, and so they have a crazy, unpredictable kind of pattern to them. And I think every Victorian lady either made one or received one-- there are zillions of them-- but this is far and away the best example I've ever seen. This calla lily is tufted, like a piece of English needlework in the 17th century. And this bird and the swans are three-dimensional. Normally they are flat and sell for about $300. We think this one could be worth between $3,000 and $5,000.
Oh, great, wow. My father said, if he ever went on the Antiques Roadshow, that he would bring this quilt.
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.
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