Wednesday, August 01, 2007

African American quilts on eBay

Be honest - do you sometimes wonder if the eBay auctions for African American-made quilts are REALLY made by black folks? I do enjoy looking at the varied quilt patterns, colors, fabrics and designs. Over on the right-side column is a table that conveniently lists the most popular quilt categories on eBay as well as the trend in African American quilt auctions. I've also added a few quilt links to interesting auctions for Mammy quilts, African fabrics, and Underground Railroad quilts. Click on a couple links, what do you think?


Anonymous said...

I have a question, what is a Very Native African American? that was what one quilter or person on
ebay stated

Anonymous said...

It's funny you should ask. First of all, the sheer number of quilts is out of the ordinary. Then the bulk of them are so Gee's Bend-type quilts. There are none with a modern theme, e.g. vibrant colors, symbolism. Annnnd they are so inexpensive.
Additionally, with all the quilts you and the others show on your blogs, nothing like these are familiar. Methinks something is afoot. You ARE observant. I'll be interested in how other African American quilters reacted. Mom

Bonnie K. Hunter said...

Thank you for posting this! I just posted a similar statement on my own blog the other day. A lot of the quilts I see on Ebay are wonderful in their own right but could be made by ANYONE using their scrap bag as a source for "making do" with what they had in that era. The 1930's-1950's produced a bumper crop of utility quilts of this type in the south, and it seems like ebay sellers are using anything "wonky" or more primitively created as proof that it was made by african american hands. If they have proof and provenance, I think it is wonderful. If not, I still think it is a wonderful example of utility quilting, but could be made by anyone...even me :c)

I'm glad I found your blog!


Kyra said...


Hey - Must be a new U.S. Census category?! Folks to have some crazy descriptions on eBay at times.


Anonymous said...

I am and always will be skeptical if the ebay seller has no proof of provenance, regardless of the selling price. I am also tired of the term "naive" being used as proof of African American authenticity. Thank you for posting this blog.