Famous Signatures

Vickie Rammel hopes to be reunited with a quilt that is part of her family’s history. The quilt was made by Vickie’s grandmother, Carabelle Jones. It was sold at auction in Spring Valley, Ohio sometime in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. The family thinks it may have been bought by a person in Florida.

The quilt is a full size bed quilt. It has approximately 365 silk squares featuring signature of famous people. The signatures are embroidered. It has a label handsewn to the back with Carabelle’s name.

Vickie writes, “We have searched for many years to at least know where this quilt is. As a girl growing up we anticipated the signatures that included, Charles Manson, Elvis and Ronald Reagan, coming in the mail. It is a part of my family history that I am afraid I will never be able to share with my now grown children. It was featured once in Ohio Magazine in the late 70’s to early 80’s. We would just like to know where it is and who owns it.”

Please contact Vickie through the Lost Quilt Come Home Page.


Famous Signatures — 2 Comments

  1. There was something like this featured on TV show, Pawn Stars. They did not purchase it from the person that was trying to sell it. You may be able to contact someone from the show and have them check the show archives.

  2. Autographed Quilt Featured on “Pawn Stars”Posted by Scott Voisin on December 15, 2009 at 1:08am
    View Scott Voisin’s blog. For those who aren’t familiar with “Pawn Stars,” it’s a show on the History Channel about a family who owns and operates a pawn shop in Vegas. I’d seen ads for it now and then while channel surfing, and at first glance, it looked like yet another crummy reality show featuring a dysfunctional group of people trying to run a business while fighting with each other. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the show is more like “Antiques Roadshow,” where customers with an eclectic array of rare and unique items are looking to sell them for some fast cash.

    One of these oddities was a quilt that contained over 300 signatures. The autographs covered a wide range of areas: Hollywood (Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock), politics (Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, FDR), space (Buzz Aldrin) and even murder (Charles Manson). As the owner explained it, a woman who ran a small museum in Ohio would write to the celebs and include a piece of fabric, asking for their autographs on the material. With every new signature, she would add it to the quilt.

    Rick, co-owner of the shop, was intrigued by the item, but he asked a friend of his to come in and authenticate the autographs. Long story short, the sigs were deemed real, but here’s the rub: In creating this cultural time capsule, the woman who made the quilt stitched over the original ink signatures to save them for posterity.

    It’s one thing to have Yul Brenner’s autograph on a piece of silk. Is it nearly as valuable when the ink has been traced over by yarn? What if it was just one piece in a much larger collection of people who made important contributions to history and pop culture?

    In the end, the authenticator struggled to put a price tag on the quilt. While acknowledging the legitimacy of the autographs, she questioned how much of the value was significantly altered by having the signatures stitched over. Lots of dollar amounts were tossed around, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. The seller was looking to get $50,000, but the co-owner of the shop didn’t buy it. In his mind, there were just too many unknown variables as to whether or not it would be worth it.