Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quilt Show Study

Texas Quilt Museum Display...Drunkards path with stars

Number one thing learned at Houston this past week...large shows are the best for seeing a wide range of antique/vintage quilts. It was amazing. Next year I am going with a much larger allowance and a larger suitcase....but I digress.
"Baby Bunting" with exceptional quilting circa 1930
I do "rounds" of the local antique malls and shops so that I "hit" each about once a month. With all that effort I only see about 5-6 quilts that would warrant an appraisal (so help me with my education.) In three days at the show I saw at least 100. (How is that or time management!) Also, the information on the quilt tags was much more accurate at the show (these dealers know quilts!)

When I was looking at the quilt vendor booths I did tell them I was studying to take the test...didn't think it was fair for them to think I was buying right now and that way they knew to break away for "real" customers (though I may be emailing one of them to see if a quilt is still available because DH says he would buy it for me for Christmas....does he forget the tickets to Houston were my Christmas present?! Oh well....) All of the vendors were really nice and supportive. One even said if I saw something on a tag (description or price) that didn't seem right to me to let her know.

This all brought a question to mind about appraisals. When I took the class they emphasized using local markets as the basis for a value. But what is local anymore? For instance I live in Georgia but have many Pennsylvania quilts (pinks, yellows, reds....you know the type) that I would be hard pressed to find in any "local" shop. To replace it I would have to go either to the Mid-Atlantic, a large show like Houston, or the internet.

(On the collector note: The prices at Houston I found to be really reasonable...I guess I was expecting them to be higher since it was a quilt show. (I've gotten my best "bargain" quilts when I've bought them at odd shows like a gun-show - don't ask me what I was doing there!) Perhaps the marketing strategy at the show is volume so they are priced fair...)

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