How to Determine the Value of a Bates Bedspread July 07, 2014 18:06 6 Comments

Every week, we get a handful of emails from folks inquiring about the value of their Bates Bedspreads that they may have had since the 1960s, inherited from a loved one, or purchased at an estate sale. In this post, we hope to help shed some light on how to look up the value of these historic woven goods.

We’ll first begin with a quick history lesson on Bates. The Bates Manufacturing Company was started in Lewiston, Maine in 1850 by Benjamin Bates. The first Bates Bedspread was not actually woven until 8 years later in 1858. It wouldn’t be until 1940 that the famous textile company would introduce its most renowned style: George Washington’s Choice (a distinct candlewick bedspread that is now called the “Martha Washington's Choice.”

Over the last 150 years, Bates has produced an incredible variety of bedspreads - some of which are still produced today by Maine Heritage Weavers, a legacy company of Bates that was started by former Bates employees in 2002. When it comes to determining the value of these priceless artifacts from yesteryear, it’s important to note that as with the value of any antique or collectible, the monetary value at the end of the day (in terms of what could possibly be realized by a seller) is not always reflected in the price met between buyer and seller. One can set a value of x dollars, however, that does not guarantee that the owner of a bedspread will be able to find a buyer at that price.

When determining the value of Bates Bedspreads, we recommend a couple different methods: 
  • Contact a Local Antique Dealer: The first method is to contact a local antique dealer (especially one that specializes in textiles) and bring your bedspread to them to be appraised. 
  • Browse Current Auction Prices: One great online resource to check current prices of antique bedspreads is to peruse online auction sites such as ebay.com, rubylane.com, or tias.com.
  • Books on Antiques and Collectibles: It may be the old-fashioned way, but it works. You can either head to your local library, online bookseller or local book store to find books that specialize in American textiles. 

It is important to note is that when it comes to valuing antiques, you may find a hard value, but this value can vary greatly depending on the condition of your personal item.

If you’re more interested in hearing the back story and not a straight value, that may be something that we can help you with as many of the background stories are still chatted about in our factory halls. Feel free to reach out to us via our contact us page or in the comments below, and hopefully, we can at least share the knowledge we have about your Bates Bedspread.

Lastly, if you're interested in purchasing a new Bates Bedspread, several styles are still being woven with the same quality and weight by Maine Heritage Weavers in Monmouth, Maine today: