selling antique quilts
July 24, 2013 1:27 PM   Subscribe

I have 5 quilts, handmade in PA in the early 1930s. They are in perfect condition, never used. I'd like to sell them. Can anyone tell me how to sell them and where I might get the best price?
posted by judytaos to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
I wonder if this might be something that Cracker Barrel might be interested in?
posted by tilde at 1:37 PM on July 24, 2013

Best answer: Vintage quilts will sell on eBay and Etsy but probably won't get the best possible price if you're not an established seller. There are also quilt autions (like this one, although note that I haven't used their services!) and quilt dealers and consignment shops that specialize in quilts. If you live near one of these places, I'd probably start by showing them the quilts and asking what the market is like in your area for these specific quilts.

What are the quilts like? Embroidery, patchwork? Hand-pieced? Hand-quilted? Do they have a provenance? Were they made in any particularly collectible group's style (e.g. Amish, African American)? Values and the best place to sell can vary greatly. Some types of quilts might be worth bringing to a bigger auction house, although usually 1930s quilts are recent enough that you'd be better off bringing them to a quilt specialist.

Hart Cottage Quilts has good resources on dating and authenticating quilts, and might give background on particularly collectible types of quilts.
posted by pie ninja at 1:43 PM on July 24, 2013

You might want to take it to a quilt show, the larger ones have appraisers on-hand.
posted by pibeandres at 2:00 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How have the quilts been stored? Have they been folded all this time, or laid out flat? If they've been folded, they may not be in "perfect condition," as being folded places stress on the fabric at the folds.

Here is information on quilt appraisers certified by the American Quilters Society (there is information on that page for both appraisers and those looking to have their quilts appraised).
posted by ocherdraco at 3:08 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

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