Samplers (Miller's How to Compare & Value) Hardcover – 15 Aug 2002
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This important and comprehensive reference features a wonderful range of needleworks.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Of course, the surprises are so interesting. Why is this sampler here worth $300,000 whereas this one there is worth only $3,000? or $300? Actually, there are interesting disclosures about the market, about how it flows, about how it's sort of underground because there's a lot of changing hands on the private market instead of the public one. One great collector for decades died suddenly 1996 and her entire collection was auctioned off for $1.7 million!! Unfortunately, we who love samplers will find them extremely hard to get because with all the research that's been going on with girlhood embroideries, people are more knowledgeable about what to look for and pay. At one point the authors suggest that "usually but not necessarily" the beauty of the sampler should be a factor in purchasing in case they're "stuck with it" and hang it on the wall instead of being able to resell it.
But we lovers of samplers probably aren't concerned with investing. We like to see the vivid pictures and compare what we find attractive vs. other people who just don't know any better. We know what we like and it doesn't have to have a price tag slapped on it.
This book is an excellent resource both for investing as well as enjoying samplers. The photos are all in color and cover every page. It's interesting to me that the age of the girl, the number of samplers like hers, whether or not it came from a certain school all add up to value. What's nice is it helps me appreciate the earnestness with which many of the girls did their sewing. Highly recommended. Please also see the other book of the authors:
With Needle and Brush: Schoolgirl Embroidery from the Connecticut River Valley, 1740-1840
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