GUEST: I brought a tapestry that, uh, my grandmother gave me in 1989.
It's such a mystery because my grandmother traveled a lot, and her family was the fancy family.
She was raised by Ogden Mills, secretary of Treasury, and she had extended-family Vanderbilts and Livingstons.
And so a lot, lots of fancy people.
So we don't know if this was in her fancy family for all those years... APPRAISER: Mm-hmm.
GUEST: ...or if this was something she acquired.
APPRAISER: What you brought today is a large-scale schoolgirl pictorial embroidery.
It is American.
APPRAISER: It dates to roughly about 1740.
GUEST: (exhales) APPRAISER: And I say large-scale, it measures 18-and-a-half by 31 inches.
A sampler is basically the first thing that a young girl would have done.
Seven, eight, nine, ten years old.
And a sampler is what we think about as sort of ABC, the one, two, three things.
APPRAISER: And when she basically graduated, she'd have gotten harder things to do.
She might have been 16 to 19 years old or so.
APPRAISER: Her teacher would have drawn the elements.
Oftentimes, we find these elements in pattern books.
We have an absolutely wonderful, mythical, exotic landscape.
APPRAISER: The piece is visually split in half by the sort of centerpiece, which is a fruit tree.
APPRAISER: It's on linen, it's a natural linen background.
And it's silk floss, which is floss that hasn't been twisted.
APPRAISER: So it lays flat and it's shinier, and wool, as well.
APPRAISER: We look at the overall appeal.
Is there a visual appeal to this?
And I think everybody is going to say, "Absolutely."
GUEST: (chuckles) APPRAISER: It is well-balanced, the colors are balanced-- the left to the right.
The pinks are scattered all over, the blues are scattered.
There is enough space between the elements.
It's wonderfully anchored at the bottom by this beautiful scenery.
It is charming beyond belief.
We do not know who it's by.
GUEST: That's the part that's so, such a mystery.
And there are very few embroidery teachers that would have been at this level.
So with research, I do believe that we could probably pinpoint it down to maybe the school it came from, maybe the girl?
The condition is extraordinary.
GUEST: Because I worried a little, 'cause there are a few spots where I could see, you know, little things.
APPRAISER: It's 280 years old.
APPRAISER: So I think we need to be a little more gentle with it.
GUEST: (laughs): Yes.
APPRAISER: It is e, the colors are extraordinary, and that is one of the first things that go.
They look like the year that they were bought.
APPRAISER: The father of this young woman would have been billed for all of the materials, and it's certainly a calling card for the family.
APPRAISER: "Not only can we afford to send our daughter to school, she is this good."
GUEST: I'd say.
GUEST: And ambitious.
(laughing) APPRAISER: Yeah, and ambitious.
Well, she had, she had some time on her hands, maybe.
APPRAISER: I believe that a, a very conservative auction estimate would be $50,000 to $75,000.
GUEST: Oh, my.
(chuckles) I was going to say, like, maybe $5,000?
So... APPRAISER: Hm, you'd have to bring a little bit more money for the...
GUEST: I think so!
(laughs) APPRAISER: For insurance purposes, which is a replacement value...
APPRAISER: ...I would put insurance, um, at $125,000...
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: ...to replace this.
GUEST: Oh, my.
Well, my grandmother would be just thrilled, 'cause she gave me a very special gift.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW ARTICLE
A rare record of an African American U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, named Charles Edward Minor, was brought to ROADSHOW in 2008 by his great-grandson.