Old Linens

mary_c_gwJune 19, 2012

My DH inherited a number of hand-embroidered linens - pillowcases, a couple of bedspreads, napkins and tablecloths.

These are very finely and intricately done, on linen - not stitch-on-the-printed-line types.

I would like to get them appraised, but am not quite sure where to look for an appraiser.

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Good luck!!!...
I would say your best bet would be a museum....or at least that's a place to start.
Are they old....as well as hand done?

The thing is....they will not bring nearly their worth if you try to sell them....but to replace them you would have to mortgage the farm.

A large comprehensive museum that has a department for housewares and textiles would be a place to start.

Linda C

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Thanks Linda!

I know we will never get their worth if we try to sell them, but it seems silly to hold on to them if we will never use them.

DH told me at least one set of table linens were commissioned by his mother right after WWII, and were hand made in Malta. That set we are keeping.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Why will you never use them??

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Oh, I misled you, LOL. Sorry about that!

We do use the set for the table we have (even if it is a b!tch to iron - I won't trust it to the cleaners!).

But the bed coverlets and pillow shams are for English beds from way back when - we just don't have beds to use them on. They are bigger than necessary for a twin bed, but too small for a double bed. The shams are a bit skimpy on a standard sized pillow.

A friend advised me to just cut them up for other projects. "You're a quilter - just cut them up and use them!" Well, I'm a quilter because I appreciate textiles and textile arts, so I'm not going to cut them up. They are much to valuable for that.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Old bedspreads make lovely table cloths.....those big old square tables that open out to forever...works very well on them.
And if you can't use them....market them as such.
And the shams....I would make pillows to size and use them on a bed.
But....don't cut them up!!....(shudder!)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 8:14PM
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We just had an estate sale of my parents things. Packaged up many very old linens, most in great condition. This after my siblings and I taking what we wanted, or could use. The adult grandkids wanted none of it, but we (their parents) made them each take a few things.

We grouped the rest - napkins, tablecloths, dresser scarves - together and asked .50 a napkin and $1.00 a tablecloth. We sold maybe a forth of the linens. One lady was doing a vintage wedding and bought a few table scarfs, etc. A few bought the napkins and table cloth sets. The rest went to Habitat. Very sad.

We also faced a dilemma with what to do with my mothers gorgeous pearl colored silk wedding dress. There is a stain down the front, so any thoughts of grandchildren wearing the dress went out the window. We tried to have it cleaned to no avail. The dress is full, and the train very long, plus there are 12-15 silk covered buttons on each sleeve. My idea was to make and monogram silk pillow cases for the 6 grandchildren, but my sister-in-law came up with a brilliant idea....have 3 Christening gowns made (one for each siblings family) and have future great-grands wear the gowns when they are Christened. Five of the six grandchildren are excited about the idea. The 6th is a boy...mine. lol We hope that my 2nd daughter will be having a baby within the year. :)

Here are my parents, and the dress, on their wedding day.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 7:04PM
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My wedding dress had a big champagne stain down the front.....but the skirt was full and that piece could be removed. My daughter wore the dress, but deemed the stain not really noticeable after cleaning....adn as I said the skirt was very full.
Shame about no one wanting the linens. But some are not desirable in spite of the time invested in embroidery.
Things like real linen dinner napkins are selling.
The 30's and 40's embroidered stuff isn't selling, but the old cutwork and hardanger still is....also real hand done lace sells.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 7:26PM
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We had all three of the latter, plus some embroidered. The first thing to go was an embroidered set bought by a 30's something girl. We had a lot of cutwork leftover. I thought of selling it on ebay, but after two days of this estate sale, I was ready to get it gone! eBaying would have been a full time job. We have tons of silver that once again, no one wanted much. Lot's of nice costume jewelry like Trifari with diamonds in which I plan to sell.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:22PM
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