Q: I recently acquired two Stevengraphs: “Columbus Leaving Spain” and “The Landing of Columbus.” Both have the words “Woven in Pure Silk at World’s Columbian Exposition Chicago 1893” beneath the picture. They have their original mats and are in very good condition. I would like to know what you think these would be worth today.
A: Stevengraphs are woven pictures. Thomas Stevens started his business in Coventry, England, in 1854. He made fancy woven silk ribbons on Jacquard looms. In about 1862, when ribbons became less fashionable and business declined, he began making bookmarks. The bookmarks were woven in a long piece and then cut to the correct size. He also made greeting cards and other items. He started weaving silk pictures in the 1870s. In all, Stevens produced about 900 different bookmarks and 200 different pictures. Other makers in England and Germany made similar ribbon pictures. Stevengraph pictures should not be exposed to bright daylight. The colors will fade. The value of Stevengraphs has gone down in the last few years. The value of “Columbus Leaving Spain” is about $250; “The Landing of Columbus” is worth about $200.