Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Much!? Family Treasure Found

Tonight while searching for my 4th great-grandfather, Capt. Daniel Carlisle, I found a family heirloom for sale. A framed piece of beautiful embroidery called Mourning Picture could be mine for just $4,000. The description:
Mourning Picture. Gold leaf frame; black mat; green; blue; brown; gray and white.. Wood and plaster frame; silk; watercolor; paper.. This framed memorial is done in fine silk embroidery on silk. The sky and clouds are in watercolor. In the center is a stone monument with an urn on top. An inscription, written in script reads, "In Memory of Capt. Daniel Carlisle." A large willow leans over the monument. Additional trees, bushes, flowers, grass and plants all done in silk needlework complete the scene.

The antique dealer is in Connecticut and Daniel lived out his life in New Hampshire so there is a small chance this was a memorial to a different Daniel Carlisle. I have spent lots of hours searching and my Daniel Carlisle is the only one I've found that had the title Captain. His granddaughter, Harriet Lincoln Greene lived in Rhode Island so perhaps it was stitched by someone in that line.

Way too expensive for me to even consider but I'm very happy that I was able to see it and to know of it's existence. I'm saddened that it passed out of the family. Perhaps another descendant with the means will buy it.


KevinW said...

I'd try and "tag team" it. That is to say get a bunch of relatives to kick in enough to make a purchase. Although $4K is probably out of reach even then. I'd really need to find a museum interested in it and pull that string.

Joan said...

You can always make an offer. What a dealer wants and what a dealer will take may be wildly different. You might at least want to make contact -- you never know where these kind of things will go unless you check it out

GrannyPam said...

I believe contacting the dealer is a good option, if you are interested in the piece. They might have information on where they got it that would help you decide if it was really your ancestor. Hard to tell what their acquisition cost really was, or what their pricing policy/formula is. It is good to remember, the picture is only worth what someone will pay for it.

Ginger Smith said...

Holy cow, what kind of heirloom is it exactly for $4000??? It's a picture? How big is it? Do you have a picture of it? I agree with everyone else that you should contact the seller, it never hurts to ask :-) Good luck and keep us informed!

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

You have found a real treasure. Most of the mourning embroideries I've seen date from the 1810 to 1840 time period, and were done by young ladies at finishing schools. You can tell from the stitches and artwork which ladies academy they had attended. They became popular after George Washington died, and often have his name on them. Many of the old houses in Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts (where I grew up) had them over the mantel, and my next door neighbor showed me three in her bedroom when I was about the age of the girls who embroidered them (usually girls ages 10-15 years old).