13 historic samplers to be sold at Ken's Auction, Jan. 1 13 historic samplers, all from a Boston-area family and dating from 1758 to 1866, and all in a remarkable state of preservation, will be sold New Year's Day by Ken's Auction in Kingston, Georgia.
News-Antique.com - Nov 19,2007 - THIRTEEN HISTORIC SAMPLERS, DATING FROM 1758 TO 1866, WILL BE SOLD
NEW YEAR'S DAY BY KEN'S ANTIQUES & AUCTION, IN KINGSTON, GEORGIA
Sale will also feature a Sevres urn, 40's Lionel train set, signed bronzes, original oils, Southern pottery.
(Kingston, Ga.) - Thirteen historic samplers, all from a single Boston-area family and dating from 1758-1866, will be sold as part of a multi-estate sale to be held New Year's Day (Jan. 1) by Ken's Antiques & Auction. The samplers are in a remarkable state of preservation. Kingston is located just northwest of Atlanta, in Bartow County, right off Rte. 411. The sale will begin promptly, at 10 a.m.
“I was extremely fortunate to have acquired all 13 samplers from the daughter of a Mr. William Ogram of Boston, a career military man who moved quite a bit before settling in Atlanta as a teacher,” said Bill Smith, a Georgia-based antiques dealer-collector. “The daughter had no interest in keeping them after her father's recent death, and she sent out feelers to people I happened to know.”
Smith, sensing a treasure trove, moved quickly to purchase the group. Each sampler was priced individually, and fairly, he thought. “Plus I was the first one out there to see what she had, so that definitely helped,” he added. “The original idea was for her to sell them in an estate sale, but her address in Atlanta allowed for zero parking, so that was out of the question. I was just a lucky guy.”
About half the samplers had been displayed as wall hangings – some in their original frames – while the other half were in the basement, wrapped in newspaper dated 1953. “The ones that were in newspapers are in truly spectacular condition, because they have been kept from the sunlight and other elements all these years,” Smith said. “But the framed examples are also in fabulous shape.”
All of the samplers were executed by young girls, one of whom was only seven at the time.
It was common during that period for girls whose parents could afford it to be sent to ladies' seminaries to learn how to sew – not just curtains, but a truly fine and beautiful seam. This was accomplished by creating “samplers,” which often featured the alphabet, numbers, poems and folk art-style depictions.
The original purpose of the samplers was to preserve and hand down old and intricate patterns in a convenient form. That ensured that future generations of schoolgirls would continue to sit and practice needlepoint, too. Thousands of samplers still exist today, and some are quite valuable. Condition, of course, is key, as is age and provenance. Some have sold for as much as $50,000 or more.
Samplers were stitched on a variety of fabrics. Mr. Smith isn't sure what his samplers are made from, but it could have been bolting cloth, tammy wool or cotton. The oldest one, dated 1758, has a lot of writing (poems and sayings of the day, mostly), as well as