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1860 South Carolina Secession Quilt SOLD for 67K posted: 1/18/2003
by Bonnie Ouellette Printable Page
Category: History Method: All
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It was quite an exciting day for history and quilt buffs as the "South Carolina Secession Quilt" was sold at auction in Mountain City, Georgia. Greg Peters of Golden Memories Auction Company handled the sale at his gallery, which was filled to the brim with wonderful southern furniture, artwork, baskets, and quilts for this New Year's Day 2003 auction.

Secession Quilt

Greg had been given the commission to sell the secession quilt directly from the family of the maker, Mrs. Philip Drury Cook of Fairfield County, South Carolina. The 108" X 108" quilt was made over a period of 6 months, which seems absolutely impossible. Mrs. Cook's husband was a general in the Coast Artillery of the Confederate States of America and she was left to run the plantation and raise four children in his absence during the war years. The all-white quilt is made from an unseamed piece of hand-woven cambric with a central medallion of an eagle with wings resting on cornucopias, which spill over with fruits and flowers. Much of the design is done with trapunto. The quilt also contains many names directly involved in the Carolina proslavery secession movement and four governors of South Carolina during the nullification period and the seal of the state.

The quilt itself survived the trials and tribulations of the war as it is said to have been wrapped around the family treasures and buried to protect them from Sherman's approaching army. Another beautiful floral quilt made by Mrs. Cook was not hidden and was cut into saddle blankets by Sherman's troops.

Secession Quilt

The bidding on the quilt was quick and exciting. The opening bid was $10,000 and the bids progressed in $10,000 increments until the final bid of $67,500 was hammered down, all within a minute and a half. Four of the bidders were on telephones. The buyer, a 35-year-old gentleman from Tennessee (he was raised in Greenville, SC) is a private antique collector. He is in the process of building a southern plantation home and will display the quilt in his new home.

There were several other lovely quilts at this auction. A beautiful early (1880) log cabin quilt was purchased by Natalie Hewel of Kannapolis, NC. She is a beginning collector with a good eye.

The Secession Quilt was also featured in the book "Quilts in America" by Patsy & Myron Orlofsky, published in the mid 1970's.

Golden Memories Auction Company
P.O. Box 549
Mountain City, Georgia 30562
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