English Cutwork Memory Book, ca. 1845
Well, it belonged to my grandmother. And when we were little, I remember, you know, thumbing through it. Never really got too much into it. And when she passed away, my mother got it, and then before she died, she was telling us everything not to, you know, put in garage sales and such, and to hold on to it. So when I had the opportunity to come here, I went through the box and was looking for neat stuff.
Well, I'd say you picked pretty good. What did your mom tell you about it other than you shouldn't put it in a yard sale?
Not much. I mean, she said they were scissor clippings, and that's all I know, and I think she said from the 1800s.
And you don't know where she got it from or your grandmother got it from?
No, I don't.
Okay. When I first opened this up and started looking at it, it kind of blew my mind, because you don't normally see so many pages executed in something like this. This is a schoolgirl's cutwork album, and they would have gone and taken classes to do it. And some could do better than others, and I think this young lady was basically a master at this. But the first thing I wanted to figure out was whether it was American or English. I decided that it probably is English, because there's quite a few images of churches and different buildings that are in England. But the one thing you've got to remember is when they were doing this, a lot of these images were print-inspired. But the good thing about what she did was she took this and she used her imagination. And the best ones of these are always going to have some watercolor and pencil drawings and things. The reason I wanted to show this page, because right over here, it says, "Merchant of Hudson Bay." Over here, it's almost like scenes in a play or something. She had scenes that had animals. And the reason I like this one over here was because it shows interior scenes-- like, there's somebody sitting at a tea table in what looks to be a Pilgrim Century or a William and Mary style chair. And look at this kitchen with the mother at the table, the bird in the cage. It's got the cat. And there's over 60 pages in here. And being conservative, with 60 pages, at $300 a page, we feel like that an insurance value for this would be around $18,000.
Wow. That's good.
You're a lucky man. You know, all I got from my Grandma was, uh, dishes.
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