Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some Fake School girl samplers and a Southern Coin Silver spoon

A Fake Adam & Eve Sampler dated 1813

Every Saturday I love to go antiquing. In a local antiques booth. I stumbled upon three early 19th century American School girl samplers along with a embroidered Alabama motto. The Samplers look right as the linen background was faded and had small holes in some but the silk needlepoint was not faded plus two had new frames and all had new paper backers. If the booth had one of theses it might have been passable but three good old embroideries was a bit much and sent up red flags. The samplers were priced at $75. to $120. If they were real they would be worth thousands and the Alabama embroidery was on hold and priced $275.00

I'm no expert on School girl samplers so I thought I would ask the experts and I'm glad I did. After emailing photo's off to one of the top sampler experts in America I was informed that all were Asian fakes made to fool people. Although I have been in the Antiques bossiness for some time I don't know it all. And when unsure it is always best to ask someone that knows more then you.

One has to be very careful now a days as it seams anything and everything that is old and or value is being faked. A Fake and a reproduction are two different things. Just at a glance you should be able to tell a repro from a original antique as reproductions are copy's of originals and usually don't show age are same construction details of original antiques. Fakes are meant to look like original antiques and are made to fool collectors and dealers alike. 

A Fake Sampler dated 1821

This one is dated 1805

Although this embroidery is superb the background blue is faded but not any of the bright silk embroidery. Titled "Alabama with our State motto 'Here we rest"

An eagle perched upon the shield of the United States seal. In the beak of the eagle was a banner reading "Here We Rest". If this was the real deal it would be worth 5-10 thousand or more!

New Orleans Coin silver table spoon in the Fiddle & thread pattern made by Hyde & Goodrich ca 1840

I did not walk away empty handed yesterday. I decided to go inside of a shop that I have not been inside of in a year. I'm glad I did as the shop was closing and having a 50% off last day open sale! I did not go crazy as I'm trying to control my spending but in a jewelry case I saw a nice size coin silver fiddle & thread table spoon marked Hyde & Goodrich . I knew right away this was a Antebellum piece of New Orleans silver as I already own coin silver by this maker
. I asked to see it and found a Monogram on the back handle of the spoon. Letting me know it was possibly made for a Gulf Coast Creole. French flatware is almost always monogrammed on the back and French flatware was placed on the table upside down, the Creoles of the Gulf Coast followed suit with what ever was going on in France. Only French aristocrats placed there silver right side up and had there monogram on the front of the silver flatware as almost all American Anglo-Saxons silver is also monogrammed on the front.

This piece had a lot going for it as it was a heavy piece of silver as most flatware made of coin silver is thin. It was Antebellum. And Southern made possibly made for a Creole. And it was 50% off of it's already low,low price! it was coming home with me to join the other children!

What's interesting about this is the parallel with the Southern heritage, is this is a piece of Southern coin silver. There were a lot of silver manufacturers in the United States when this was made before the Civil War, probably circa 1840, 1850. And the majority of the silver manufacturers were in the Northeast in big citys like Boston, New York and Philadelphia, as was most of the industry in the United States. The Southern states were primarily agrarian communities, and there were not a lot of silversmiths there making silver. So, by the nature of there not being a lot of silver made in the South, examples are much more rare and sought after by collectors today. Additionally, the war between the North and South, as some people like to call it, was fought primarily in the South. There was a lot of looting, soldiers stole lots of things. You hear stories about family silver being buried in the backyard or sunk in a pond all the time. And a lot of the silver that was made did not survive because it might be melted down at a latter date and made into something more fashionable.

The spoon turned over is clearly marked with the maker's mark, which is Hyde & Goodrich and a beautiful script monogram on the back of the spoon handle . They went into business in 1816 until 1861. They were located in the Old Creole French Quarter shop at 15 Chartres Street and made very, very fine silver.

A funny true story about coin silver and New Orleans during the Civil War is Benjamin Franklin Butler In May 1862, occupied New Orleans after it was captured by the Navy. He was nicknamed "'Beast' Butler" or alternatively "'Spoons' Butler," the latter nickname derived for his habit of pilfering the silverware of unoccupied Southern homes in which he stayed. Benjamin and his brother became millionaires over nigh by being the only importers of booze "alcohol" into New Orleans and sent back up North ships full of fine and valuable, Furniture, decorative arts and silver plundered from fine mansions in one of the riches Southern city's. Many of his acts, however, gave great offense, such as the seizure of $800,000 that had been deposited in the office of the Dutch consul and his imprisonment of the French Champagne magnate Charles Heidsieck. Most notorious was Butler's General Order No. 28 of May 15, issued after some provocation, that if any woman should insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and shall be held liable to be treated as a "woman of the town plying her avocation", i.e., a prostitute. This order provoked protests both in the North and the South, and also abroad, particularly in England and France, and it was doubtless the cause of his removal from command of the Department of the Gulf on December 17, 1862.

This is one spoon Benjamin did not take!

A beautiful script monogram on the back of the spoon handle

The spoon turned over is clearly marked with the maker's mark, which is Hyde & Goodrich


  1. Thank you again, Andrew! I am learning so much!

  2. You are welcome but I'm also learning along the way.

  3. I just love samplers, the old ones are so hard to come by and are very expensive. I can not afford them. I sure do appreciate your bog. Richard at

  4. Thank You for the leason on the fake amplers. I now must be very carefull when hunting for theases goodies.....Julian

  5. I have an antique embroidery of the State Seal of California that is stunningly similar to Titled "Alabama with our State motto 'Here we rest" ~ but it is the real deal and the frame that it is in is more stunning than the embroidery. Where could you have it appraised? I have an interested buyer...

  6. hello Andrew I could really use your help with a textile I have because you are the only one I can find on the entire Internet with something similar on your site. I have tried by email not sure if your email address was still good. I did try this option before but I do not remember seeing the Notify me box before. Maybe that will help? It is similar to the fake state flag sampler but not as in good of condition and it has a 1901 Japanese newspaper attached to the back of it. Cheryl

  7. Cheryl am not expert on textiles you need to contact a person that is, although the Japanese newspaper attached to the back would be a dead giveaway that it might be a fake made in Asia. As most of the state embroidery that is popping up these days are , they use old antique fabrics to make the fakes.

  8. Thank you Andrew for your reply!! I am still researching and I came across another similar embroidery with this note below it. Product Description

    Beautiful, highly embellished & highly detailed silk hand embroidery of the Connecticut State Seal. Highest quality silk work with gold and silver bullion threads and beads. Features four American Flags with 13 Stars. These were sold to American sailors traveling to the Orient in this era. Also during the Great White Fleet voyage around the World circa 1907-1909. The card says Nagasak Himamura Enbroider Japan silkwork. Circa 1895-1910
    This might explain Japanese newspaper? The embroidery supposedly came out of an old school house in Glennville Ca. The frame is massive and weighs 20 lbs. It is a spectacular antique frame purchased at an estate sale. Still looking.

  9. The card says Nagasak Himamura ( it is framed with the embroidery)