We always got a kick out of watching the PBS program “The Antiques Roadshow.” In fact, around here, we would always make bets on how much something would be appraised at.
Well, we just found this fun clip from the 2013 season and loved it so much we wanted to share it with you. In it, a woman brings in her family’s coat of arms to find out what it might be worth, but by, does she get a surprise! You are going to get a thrill out of this video clip when you watch it.
In this fun clip, we get a pretty good introduction to a bygone craft, a history of a significant American family, and an outrageous price evaluation, all in under 3 minutes.
And who says PBS isn’t great?
The woman brought in her family coat of arms, which had been passed down through the generations until her aunt bequeathed it to her. The coat of arms is fascinating in itself because it was produced using a paper crafting technique called “quilling.” Quilling is a method of tightly winding pieces of paper and arranging them to make elaborate designs. Very popular among British women in the early 18th century, quilling was not nearly so common on this side of the Atlantic.
Expert Sebastian Clarke walks the woman through the process of quilling, also known as paper filigree.
The second important factor is that the design is the combined crests of two important New England families bound together through marriage, the Phillips and the Jacksons. It is even signed by its creator, Sarah Jackson in 1734.
The really fun part is when Clarke discusses what the woman’s family treasure might be worth at auction. He discloses that he had a long conversation with his peers on the coat’s value, and they all agreed that, should a piece like hers come up at an auction, it could easily be worth thirty to fifty thousand dollars.
You read that right, folks. Thirty to fifty THOUSAND dollars.
Needless to say, the woman was extremely happy about the appraisal.
One of the biggest factors in determining its worth is its origin. While quilling one’s coat of arms was a very popular activity for British women, Americans did not engage in it nearly so much.
Coats of arms were first used by the Romans to identify members of a specific military unit and were adopted by nobility during the twelfth century. By the mid-thirteenth century, their use had moved beyond the battlefield, and became a way for aristocratic families to identify themselves on banners, flags, garments, stamps, seals, and other objects.
A coat of arms was awarded to an individual male and he could bequeath it to his sons. Women could adopt the coat of arms of their husbands or fathers.
While the use of a coat of arms has been strictly regulated by British law, beyond some quaint social aspects, it no longer has the same importance for most people that it once did.
Have you ever had a family heirloom appraised? Does your family still retain a coat of arms? Share your stories with us here.