News & Insights

Costume, Accessories & Textiles Results: Rare Quilt Tops Sale

19th August 2019.

Tennants Auctioneers’ Costume, Accessories and Textiles Sale on 17th August once again saw bidders flocking to North Yorkshire, demonstrating the continuing demand for antique and vintage textiles at auction.


The sale saw a mixture of rare and unusual samplers and quilts, with the top lot of the sale going to an unusual patchwork quilt that sold for £5,200 (plus buyer’s premium). Dating to circa 1810-1830, the quilt was centred with a rare motif of a 32-point mariner’s compass design, one of the most difficult designs to execute, and had previously been exhibited in the Quilt Museum’s 2013 exhibition ‘The Blossoming of Patchwork’. From the same vendor, and also exhibited at the same exhibition were a pristine circa 1800-1820 patchwork quilt with Chinoiserie central panel that sold for £2,600, and a further patchwork quilt of the same date that sold for £1,900.


Good quality samplers are selling strongly at present, and the top sampler of the sale was a late 17th century band sampler, worked by Mary Squire in 1692. Worked in peach, blue and green, charmingly Miss Squire, who was 7 when she completed the piece, stitched her S’s and Q’s back to front; the sampler sold for £2,600.


Attracting international bidding was a fine late 19th century Louis Vuitton trunk, which sold for £4,500. Louis Vuitton began his career as a maker of fine trunks, and soon after establishing his brand in 1854 his wares were favoured by wealthy travellers in both London and Paris. This example was covered with the brand’s distinctive checkerboard ‘damier’ canvas that was first introduced in 1888.


Further lots of note included an early 20th century Peter Rabbit made by Steiff (sold for £750), a mid-19th century Montanari Wax Doll (sold for £750) and a late 18th century needlework worked by Mary Ann Charlesworth in 1784 when she was ten (sold for £850). A group of Turkish and Greek 19th Century embroidered lines produced exceptionally strong bidding via the internet, with many of the lots vastly exceeding estimates. Costume from the first half of the 20th century was in demand too, with bidders particularly interested in 1920s day and evening wear, 1940s separates, and a collection of 1950s printed cotton skirts, dresses and housecoats. 


The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £69,500 for the 315 lots with a 96% sold rate.


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