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Purchase Story

Second Annual Textiles and Sewing Auction

Walter C. Newman | July 15th, 2017

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates, Mt. Crawford, Virginia

Photos courtesy Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Jeffrey Evans’s experiment with offering a specialty textiles and sewing auction has now completed its second year. The second annual textile and sewing auction was held at the Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates salesrooms in Mt. Crawford, Virginia, on July 15.

This year’s event was a seamless extension of the first sale. There were no blockbuster lots at this sale, and it is unlikely that there will be blockbuster lots at any future sales. That is the nature of the category. It is, however, a rather interesting category, and one that will grow on anyone who begins to follow it. Whatever may draw you to antiques, be it an interest in folk art or the techniques of furniture construction or the simple beauty and intricacy of a handmade object, there is a link within the world of sewing and textiles.

Three lots shared honors as highest-selling lots of this sale. Two were intricately pieced quilt tops from the 1930s. One comprised 9950 tiny fabric hexagons; the other had 10,098 similarly shaped pieces. Each quilt top sold for $1404 (with buyer’s premium). The third member of the high-lot trio was 100% mid-century. It consisted of 36 pieces of fine table linens by Marghab Linens Ltd. Each of these lots is shown among the accompanying photos.


This set of 36 pieces of table linens by Marghab Linens Ltd. shared high-lot honors at the Evans sale. The lot consists of a dozen each of napkins, placemats, and cocktail napkins. They are unused and retain their original tags and ribbons. The linens are circa 1950, and they sold for $1404 (est. $100/150).


Don’t try to count the individual pieces that went into this hexagonal pattern American quilt top. There are 9950 individual hexagons, each individually sewn into the pattern. The 99" x 110" quilt top, circa 1930, was one of three lots that shared honors as highest-selling lots of the sale. It was won by a telephone bidder for $1404 (est. $150/250).


This quilt top was another of the lots that shared the top spot at the Evans textile auction. The textile is composed of 10,098 individually sewn hexagonal pieces. The catalog refers to this design as Flower Garden in the Trip around the World pattern. The circa 1930 quilt top measures 93" x 107". It sold to a telephone bidder for $1404 (est. $150/250).

By sheer number, the dominant group of offerings was hand towels/show towels. Over 80 lots of the decorative towels were from the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Art Museum. According to Evans, the towels being sold represented duplicates or near duplicates within the collection. They were being sold to raise funds for future acquisitions for the museum’s textile collection.


This show towel exhibits several intricate needlecraft techniques. The upper panel features a large central depiction of a five-blossom plant in a fanciful pot. Above that is a pair of stags facing a tree, each followed by a dog and a bird figure. The central potted plant is flanked by hearts with crowns and small plants, each with a pair of birds. Below the panel is an embroidered identification line that reads “HS / 1835 / SF.” The bottom panel is attached using needle lace stitching. That panel features very complex drawn work, with hearts, doves, and numerous flowering plants. The towel is likely from Pennsylvania, and it measures 66½" x 16 3/8". This show towel sold to an Internet buyer for $234 (est. $80/120).


This card is one of 20 from the Ruth Kistner Button Museum collection. The examples in this group are primarily glass and are decorated with inlay, silver overlay, painted enamel, spatter, and goldstone. The buttons date from the second half of the 19th century. This group sold to an Internet buyer for $263.25 (est. $80/120).

Another group of interesting lots is something of a mystery. The Evans sale offered 20 lots consisting of cards mounted with buttons. Figural, military, inlaid, silver overlaid, glass, and luster buttons only scratched the surface of the offerings. The catalog noted that these buttons were from the Ruth Kistner Button Museum collection. I have been unable to locate any information about this museum, and Evans admitted that he, too, could not find anything. Perhaps a M.A.D. reader can shed some light on the museum.

It does appear that the Evans textile and sewing auctions will continue. This year, the total number of lots offered increased by ten percent over last year. Historical and regionally significant textiles will still be offered at Evans’s Americana sales, but as more textile and sewing collectors become aware of this annual sale, activity and interest is likely to pick up.

For additional information, contact Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates at (540) 434-3939 or visit the website (www.jeffreysevans.com).


Here is a mid-18th-century New England sewing pocket. The 14¾" tall bag-form article is tapered, with a hemmed slit opening. The front surface is decorated with silk-embroidered flowing flowers, leaves, and vines. The sewing pocket sold for $292.50 (est. $100/150).


This child-size millinery mannequin is marked “STOCKMAN / PARIS.” The mannequin stands 36" in overall height and rests on carved wooden high-button shoes. The piece dates from the late 19th or early 20th century. The lot includes a velvet outfit and straw hat of the period. This mannequin sold to an Internet buyer for $555.75 (est. $200/300).


This American sampler is likely from Pennsylvania circa 1845. The piece is wool on linen and displays a strawberry and vine border. There are six rows of letters and numerals. Below is a large house with a picket fence and gate, flanked by baskets, trees, and animals. “Elizabeth” and “Edward” are stiched above the baskets of flowers, and there are several groups of initials in the field, including “AB” and “MR.” The sampler is not framed. Its colors are bright, and it remains in overall very good condition. It sold for $994.50 (est. $400/600).


This early 19th-century drawstring purse is from Maine. The purse is decorated in ink with an overall pattern of grapevines with grapes surrounding a central wreath and with a four-line poem above. Within the wreath is displayed “Nancy [illegible] / Brunswick / 1817.” The purse measures 11½" x 8". It brought $643.50 (est. $100/150).


This sampler is signed “Margaret Sarah Forbes / August / New York.” It is not dated. There are the customary rows of letters and numbers within a strawberry and vine border. The central element is a poem that begins “What is the blooming tincture of the skin…?” The circa 1820 sampler measures 17¼" x 12¾" (sight size). The piece does exhibit toning, some staining, and losses to the ground. It sold to an Internet buyer for $1170 (est. $80/120).


Here is a mid-19th-century Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, jacquard coverlet in red, green, dark blue, and ivory. The piece is fringed on three sides. The field is framed by a floral border with spread-wing shield-breasted eagles at the corners. The central medallion is a repeating floral design. Woven into the lower border is the maker’s identification, “M[ade] BY H STAGER MOUNT JOY LANCASTER / CO PA WARRANTED FAST COLLER [sic].” The coverlet measures 84" x 86", and it sold to an Internet buyer for $643.50 (est. $150/250).


This interesting volume is a lace-maker’s sample book. Its pages are cloth and display sewn-in samples of lace patterns and designs that are available for purchase. The sales book dates from the second half of the 19th century. It sold for $380.25 (est. $50/100).


At right is a pieced crazy quilt from Richmond, Virginia. The quilt features an overall fan motif, with 64 blocks, each with a six-panel fan, all sewn within a broad border of embroidered and pieced fabric flowers and leaves. The outer border is crocheted. Many of the fans include a stitched name and date. The panel at left shows “Rhoda Fuller / 1790.” The latest date on the quilt is 1896. This crazy quilt measures 69½" x 70", and it sold to an Internet buyer for $994.50 (est. $800/1200).


Here is a mid-20th-century flannel quilt made from 127 individual tobacco flags. The center is a large 48-star American flag surrounded by flags from Cuba, Turkey, Belgium, Persia, Corea [Korea], and many other countries. The individual flags display a variety of border and background patterns. The quilt measures 70" x 76", and it sold for $585 (est. $100/150).


Originally published in the October 2017 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest

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