Monday, August 18, 2008

Hearts Aflutter

An antique textile appraiser such as myself, has been in a state of bliss over the last few weeks.

We are preparing for a deaccessioning auction for the Jordan Museum on Labor Day.

As one of the privileged personnel for the auctioneer Rick Rittenhouse I was able to view and inspect the treasures coming to the auction floor.

Besides wonderful furniture and primitive tools, it is the costumes, accessories and textiles that set my heart aflutter.There are Victorian and Edwardian garments; walking suits with leg o' mutton sleeves, ostrich feather fans, celluloid hair combs, heavily beaded blouses, punch paper samplers, woven coverlets...

But of all the history and beauty laid before me I would have to admit I fancy the May 1840 sampler wrought by Jane Baillie from Hamilton UC.(the UC stands for Upper Canada, long before this country became a nation)

Embroidered by a young Scottish lass (her family emigrated from Scotland to the Niagara Peninsula and appear in the 1851 census) on loosely woven homespun linen. It has the 'mystery mansion', a meandering floral border and peacocks guarding the door.

The colours are still rich and vibrant and the stitching lovely. Both are a testament to this girl's talent and a statement to this country's history.


Lori said...

Susan, what a beautiful must just love your job so much, getting to see all of these wonderful things in person:)

Tres Belle said...


It must be so exciting for you to get to see all of these treasures. The sampler is very pretty. Do you get the opportunity to purchase any of these items as they come up for auction? And what is leg o' mutton sleeves? I've never heard that one before.


Tres Belle said...

Thanks for the explanation of leg o'mutton sleeves. I think I know what you are talking about now. Also, thanks for the vote of confidence on my books. I was accepted as a vendor on Lollishops which is due to open in November.
We have finally gotten RAIN. Hurray!!! It's suppose to rain here in sunny Texas for the next 2 days.


pve design said...

Amazing handiwork - I learned all about leg-O-mutton sleeves in College and we had to make one.
The shape is simply lovely. I made a cross stitch for my Grandmother and now I have it and this post inspires me to frame it. The memories of making it and seeing it in my Grandmothers Kitchen. It reads,
"No matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like my Kitchen best" and it was so true. We would always gather in her kitchen for conversation and country cooking.

Sea Angels said...

Welcome back Susan I hope you had a lovely time.
How divine to have access to all of those wonderful items, you lucky girl. That was for me the very best part of being at university, I could don on a pair of cotton gloves, and raid the archives, and really have a good look........nearly as good as chocolate, enjoy enjoy!!
Hugs, have a super week.
Lynn xx

Lana said...

Oh my! Needlework is one of my weaknesses. How fortunate you are to view such treasures!

Donna O. said...

This Scottish lass loves to hear about another. We had family in Canada and still do somewhere. Sounds you've got some extraordinary things to go through!! Photos when you're done??

Suzanne said...

Oh the fun you must be having! Jane's sampler is a gorgeous! What a beautiful piece of history.

Candy said...

How fun! What a special treat it is to see things as they come out of storage. It's always a thrill isn't it?

Ruth Welter said...

Hello Susan, no wonder your heart is a flutter...what a gorgeous piece of needlework this is. Isn't it amazing how these items last through decades and centuries??

As an appraiser, how do you determine value on these items?? Is it age, condition and if they are signed and dated etc??? I'm fascinated by these beautiful art forms.

Gillian L. said...

Please drop by "Reflections in The Afternoon" for something special...


Susan said...

Thank you for your lovely comment this morning and for leading me here to your fascinating blog. I too will be returning. Another Susan

Carla said...

It is such a privilege to be given access to these beautiful old textiles isn't it? Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us through your blog. The sampler is beautiful.