MT. CRAWFORD, Va. —— Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ first annual textiles and sewing auction on July 16 was a big success on many levels.
Comprising 404 lots, it was a small sale in comparison to most other auctions conducted by the firm. The offerings came from over forty consigners and included material deaccessioned by the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. In total the sale drew over 2,500 registered bidders from 45 different countries. In-house attendance was excellent with over 50 bidders in the sales room competing with three internet platforms, phone bids, and a large number of absentee bids left with the auctioneer. Two United States institutions were among the successful bidders in the sale.
Lot number one, a fine pieced and appliquéd Lone Star quilt was the star of the show, bringing $9,360.00 (all prices include buyer’s premium). It was likely made by Mary Seeds Moon (born ca. 1806), mother of Emily Quail Moon (1844-1906), in Baltimore, Maryland around 1840, and had descended directly through the Moon family. The center of the quilt had five large pieced stars with appliqued chintz floral and bird designs, surrounded by a border of smaller stars, and a wide edge of printed chintz fabric. Previously exhibited and published as a Virginia-made quilt, further research prior to the sale resulted in the reattribution of the quilt to Maryland. The quality of the chintz fabric, retaining a strong sheen on the surface, and the overall condition of the quilt was quite good. The fine quilt stitching was incredibly detailed, including a horn of plenty design and feathered plumes.
The rich history of weaving in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley was well represented with a large collection of overshot coverlets from the collection of Gene and Betty Driver of Broadway, Virginia. Most had been included in an exhibition held at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, December 2015-March 2016, entitled "Colorful and Cozy: The Woven Art of the Coverlet". One particular coverlet was woven in a design called "Sash Monk’s Belt" and retained strong orange and light green coloring, woven with both linen and wool. It had associations with the Hite family of Luray, Virginia, was made in the first half of the 19th century, and sold for $1,111.50.
Strong histories and provenance of an item proved to be an attraction as with a family record sampler made by Lucy J. Wooding, born in 1834 in Wallingford, Connecticut. It sold for $643.50. Made of silk thread on linen, it featured five alphabet and numeral rows, including “Lucy J. Wooding / Wallingford / Aged 10 years / 1844", above a rectangular panel recording the births and deaths of the maker's family members, including her father, Calvin Wooding (1798-1880); her mother, Lucy Beecher Wooding (b.1799); and her eight siblings.
Included in the de-accessioned items from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts was a
patriotic-themed whole cloth quilt that sold for $4,095.00. Often referred to as the “Apotheosis of Franklin and Washington”, this fabric used for the quilt was a popular printed English fabric from the late 18th century. What may have first begun as bed curtains, at some point in its life saw its reuse as a quilt made up of strips and squares of the red and white fabric, and the owner’s initials, “JxB” on the back. The fabric is full of patriotic imagery associated with early American history including a depiction of George Washington on a chariot being pulled by a leopard with a plaque reading, “AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE 1776”, and Benjamin Franklin in front of Lady Liberty, both holding a banner that reads, “WHERE LIBERTY DWELLS THERE IS MY COUNTRY”.
After the sale, company president and auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans commented, “We were very pleased with the strong interest the auction generated. Friday’s lecture and private tour of the Virginia Quilt Museum was well attended, and the gallery was full of excited bidders on Saturday morning. We received many positive comments before and after the sale including several serious consignment inquires for next year’s sale. All in all, it was an outstanding first effort and a great foundation to build an annual event around.”
The firm is currently accepting consignments for their October 15 Fall Antiques, Fine & Decorative Arts sale and their Fall Americana auction featuring Virginia and the South to be held November 12. For complete auction results, a schedule of remaining 2016 sales, or more information visit www.jeffreysevans.com, email email@example.com, or call 540.434.3939.