♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: "Antiques Roadshow" has landed in Colonial Williamsburg, and we've got treasures to see.
And who are we talking about here?
That looked like it might be a good one.
And it was!
It's quite the backdrop, isn't it?
(laughing): It is.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: Founded as the capital of the Virginia colony in 1699, Williamsburg, Virginia, is one of America's oldest planned communities.
Colonial Williamsburg, the world's largest living history museum, encompasses 301 acres of the original town of Williamsburg.
It has over 500 reconstructed buildings based on extensive research and 88 original buildings that showcase 225 period rooms.
Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg are sure to come away with a greater understanding of life in the 18th century, learn more about the trials and triumphs of leaders of the time, as well as get deeper insight into the lives of people from every social class in the Colonial era, including those who were enslaved.
"Antiques Roadshow" is receiving guests in and around Governor's Palace today.
And we're excited to help them understand more about their treasures.
MAN: I bought it in Washington, D.C., in 1985.
There was a gallery near where I lived, and I just, I loved it.
I couldn't afford it with the money that I had in the bank.
I was a cook.
And, um, so I talk to her about it and she says, "Well, I can sell it to you on installment."
So I was, like, "Okay."
And, and how much was it?
I paid $1,100 for it.
In 1985, which was a lot of money.
A lot of money.
The thing is, he also did the cover of Talking Heads album called "Little Creatures."
And I paid my first payment, and then the next week, that album came out.
And I was, like... And, and who are we talking about here?
Howard Finster, okay.
Finster was a, a visionary artist.
Uh, and he was out there.
And you can look at this and say, "Wow!"
He was born in 1916.
And, uh, he was one of 13 children.
And he, he declared that he had his first vision when he was three years old.
His sister, who was deceased, visited him in a dream and said, "You, Howard, you will be a man of visions."
He became an evangelical preacher.
But he was all along making art.
He finally moved to near Summerville, Georgia... Mm-hmm.
...and started the Paradise Garden.
And the Paradise Garden still exists today.
Uh, that you can go see.
It's a, it's a, full of oddball buildings that incorporate Finster's art.
and the Talking Heads discovered him and there was an article about him in "Atlanta" magazine.
And people started picking up on this weird, quirky guy.
So let's sort of delve into this.
And the first thing, it's made out of boards.
There's some mirror.
This is a piece of plexiglass.
And he's painted everywhere.
He's covered every...
...complete surface, which is typical of the work that he did.
Lots of verbiage, lots of action.
And then you sort of delve into this, and you say, "Okay, here's the Tree of Life," and there are clouds in ascending from the Tree of Life.
And then, of course, scattered throughout are keys to Finster's work.
So instead of just writing the number 3,524, he wrote the "3,000 and 524 works of art."
Yeah, and, and of course, Finster had received another vision that he was to make 5,000 works of art.
And that's why he started numbering them.
And he continued to work until he died in 2001.
So there, there... No one knows absolutely how many works of art Finster did.
But it's probably in excess of 45,000 or 50,000 works of art.
Which brings us around to value of this remarkable thing.
What do you think it's worth today?
Not that long ago, a gallery owner in Atlanta told me it's worth maybe $3,000 to $5,000 at auction.
That's all I knew then.
I, I, I would differ a little bit.
Most of his work, his small-dimensional work, is either measured in the few hundreds... Mm-hmm.
...to $1,500, $2,000.
In the right outsider art auction, I think this would probably bring between $15,000 and $25,000.
Good for Howard.
I knew it was very special when I saw it.
MAN: Our neighbor worked with Enrico Fermi during the Manhattan Project.
And he was responsible for doing some of the reactor design.
And these blocks were used in constructing the first two reactors ever, uh, in the world.
When they were decommissioning, he was able to get this block.
Subsequently, since I was trained in nuclear science, gave it to me.
The original was constructed under the stands at the football field at the University of Chicago.
And after, uh, they had done some of the initial experiments, they took it apart and took it out to a site outside of Chicago.
And then rebuilt it, and did some more experiments, and then designed a completely different system.
And then, after several years, abandoned those reactors and moved on to a, a different design.
The brick that you have brought today is actually from a reactor that was known as the Chicago Pile-1.
On December 2, 1942, the scientists gathered and ran tests.
One was successful, and that was at the beginning of the Manhattan Project.
Which, less than three years later, as we all know, resulted in the atomic bombs that were dropped in World War II.
The reactor was composed of approximately 45,000 of these bricks.
It's very high-quality graphite.
The reactor was extremely simple because it was the first one.
It was basically a tall cube shape, 57 layers of approximately 45,000 of these bricks.
It was in a simple wood frame, and it had absolutely no shielding whatsoever from any kind of radioactive spillover that might have occurred.
They had guys with buckets of cadmium salts standing in the room to try and pour over the reactor if things started to go south.
The experiments worked.
And they all broke out a bottle of Chianti that somebody had brought... (chuckles) ...and drank a toast to their success, and signed the label of the Chianti bottle.
Which is the only reason we know who was there, because there are no written records saying what scientists actually participated in this experiment.
You had mentioned something about having the brick tested for radioactivity?
I had a, an appointment at the University of New Mexico in the radiopharmacy program.
And we brought the brick down and put it on a counter over a weekend and detected no, uh, radioactivity whatsoever.
So we're safe standing next to it.
I'm, I'm very happy to hear that.
(chuckles) The small pieces, which are three inches by three-quarter-inch by three-quarter-inch... Mm-hmm.
...have sold at auction anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000.
There is currently one of them available online retailing for $6,500.
You have an entire brick, which is extremely rare, and your brick is 11 by four by four.
So at auction, I would say this piece would be worth easily $16,000 to $20,000.
And given that you have an entire brick, I would go more towards the high end of that estimate.
I've never appraised anything like it.
PEÑA: There are two incredible art museums at Colonial Williamsburg: the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum that exhibits American folk art from Colonial times through the present day, and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum, whose focus is British and American fine and decorative arts from 1670 to 1830.
One gem at the DeWitt is the largest printed map of the North American continent made during the Colonial period.
Created in 1733, Henry Popple's map of the British empire in America was distributed to the government of every colony.
A comparable example could be insured for $275,000 to $300,000.
Uh, my dad was a professor at the University of California, and they had just finished updating an old house and needed to furnish it.
And they went to an auction and pretty much bought up any pieces of old oak furniture they could find.
My mother has told me that if he paid ten dollars for it, it probably was a lot.
So you remember this as a kid?
It had a long journey.
It left Berkeley, it lived in Jerusalem, Israel, for many, many years.
And when my father passed away, and my mother left her house there, um, she divided up some of her things, and this was one of the pieces I picked to bring back to the United States for me, because I liked it.
This is in a style a lot of people refer to as Mission.
Uh, Gustav Stickley was not fond of the term "Mission."
"Mission" refers to Spanish Colonial Mission furniture.
This is more Arts and Crafts in the European tradition.
Stickley and the Stickley family is a fascinating story.
Gustav had many brothers.
There were five of them.
There were several iterations of the Stickley companies.
This iteration was with two brothers, Albert and John George Stickley.
Uh, they came together to form Stickley Brothers Company in roughly 1891.
And then they launched this line called Quaint Furniture in roughly 1903.
It has the model number, which I get a kick out of.
(laughs) 314 and a half.
So what we have here is a piece that many people refer to as a taboret.
A taboret can be a stool.
(chuckles) Uh, I think, however, this table was intended to be used as a plant stand or a lamp stand.
The whole piece is made of white oak.
And there was another version of this which was in dark oak.
And that was a fumed finish or an ammonia finish to get it nice and dark.
This one is closer to natural, but when you cut it on an angle, it gives you, like, a tiger pattern.
And you may have heard people call, uh, oak tiger oak.
Well, it's really quarter-sawn and it has to do with how the lumber is cut down to reveal a more expressive, dancy fluid in the grain.
We have a very, very thick top, and then the thickness steps down to a slightly thinner leg.
On the top, we see the legs coming through.
That's a tenon.
And then over here, we have this connection pulling the whole form together with these wedge-shaped pieces.
So there's no screws, there's no nails, there's no hidden aspect to the way this is made.
Arts and Crafts collectors are very keen on originality and finish.
They do like the darker version slightly more than the lighter version.
Um, there are some boo-boos... (chuckling) ...or blemishes on this table.
But all told, it's still very desirable because they're so easy to use and they're so practical.
In this original condition, at auction, this would bring about $800.
And the same piece in a dark finish, with roughly the same, uh, blemishes, would bring about $1,200.
In a gallery, no problem-- $2,000 for a piece like this.
And if it didn't have the blemishes?
If you had something that was free of any of these blemishes, to the right collector, it's easily $3,000.
(laughs) Not what I would have expected.
(laughs) WOMAN: My uncle obtained it in Russia.
At the moment, it lives in our china cabinet.
It's a Russian porcelain Easter egg.
I would date it to about 1885, 1895, perhaps.
Made, almost certainly, I would say, at the Imperial Porcelain Works in St. Petersburg.
Beautifully painted with the familiar salutation "Christ is risen," represented here by the two Cyrillic initials.
At auction today, you'd expect to see an estimate somewhere between $800 and perhaps $1,200.
Well, that's great to know.
I'm so glad to know when it was made.
MAN: I bought a Tiffany creamer and sugar bowl along with the original receipt.
The bill of sale that you have over there, dated July 9, 1861, is so rarely found alongside two pieces of silver that are clearly listed on that bill of sale.
It makes this lot that much more exciting.
If this whole group were to come to auction-- the creamer, the sugar, and the bill of sale together-- we'd expect a conservative auction estimate in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.
Without the bill of sale cementing the provenance, value's probably half.
WOMAN: I brought a family book that we were always told was very special and we were not allowed to touch it.
So probably 60 years before I touched it.
And when I opened it, I couldn't really make any heads or tails of it.
But supposedly it was written by an ancestor of ours.
And my grandfather collected it at some time in his life.
And then he gave it to my father for Christmas in the '60s, so... And what makes it a family book?
Our name is Digges, and my grandfather was really big into family genealogy, and we tend to be architects, builders, mathematicians.
And I think this book was written by a Digges that he has in the genealogy book as being part of the family.
So that's what I know about it, so.... (laughs) Mm-hmm.
So what we're looking at here is a book by Leonard and Thomas Digges.
It was published in 1597.
And the binding is parchment.
So parchment is a treated animal skin.
Oh, it is.
So it's a 16th-century binding on a 16th-century book.
And that makes it very interesting.
Many times, books of this age were rebound.
If you look at the title page, it's by Thomas Digges, who took his father's manuscript.
The father, Leonard Digges.
And it first was published in 1571.
And this is the second edition.
And the title is "A Geometrical Practical Treatize Named Pantometria."
And so it's a book on geometry and surveying land.
You can see that in this nice emblem down on the, on the title page, there is sort of a triangular geometrical shape in the world map.
And there are a fair number of really interesting illustrations in here.
For instance, here, a device is being used to measure the size of a fortress.
And in this illustration here up front, they're using the same device to measure the height of a tower.
Both Leonard and Thomas Digges were into geometry and surveying of the land.
But they also invented various devices to, to measure land.
And in this case here, on page 35, you see the composition of the instrument called "theodelieus."
And this instrument is a, is a fascinating device.
It's, it's illustrated here, as well.
But to this day, that instrument is used, for instance, in rocketry.
So an invention from the 1590s is still being used today.
And here is the first illustration.
And it is your ancestors who, who invented that device.
Have you had it ever appraised?
Because the book is in its first contemporary binding, and it has wide margins, it's not been cut down, and the nice condition it's in, I would put a conservative estimate at auction of $15,000 to $25,000 on it.
It's a real... For a book.
For this book.
It's a real, real treasure.
So I hope you keep the book in a safe place.
I keep it locked up.
And an insurance value for the book I would think is about $40,000 all told.
WOMAN: I brought in this powder horn that, it belonged to my fifth great-grandfather Edmund Ingalls.
And one of the inscriptions is November 10 of 1759, which means that it could possibly have been used in the French-Indian War.
As well as, I have his service record, where he actually served in the Revolutionary War.
It's actually possible that he could have used this to defend the British in the French-Indian War, as well as fight the British in the Revolutionary War.
He was born in 1740 in Rehoboth, Mass.
And it's marked here: "Edmund Ingalls, Rehoboth."
If we flip it over, we can see, right over here: "WM.H."
So we think this horn was at Fort William Henry.
Um, and to have a, a object that was descended in your family from the French-Indian War... (laughs) ...and possibly the revolution.
Now, have you ever had it appraised before?
So I would put a conservative auction estimate on it of $4,000 to $6,000.
It would probably bring more than that with all of that research put together in a description... Wow.
...so that, uh, people could see the whole history.
PEÑA: One of the DeWitt Decorative Art Museum's many treasures is a large 16-and-a-half-inch-high storage jug by David Drake, an enslaved Black potter from South Carolina in the 1800s.
Drake is one of the only enslaved potters known to have signed and dated his vessels.
Literacy was outlawed among enslaved people at this time, so Drake inscribing the pieces was risky and bold.
This storage jar says "Mr.
Miles Dave II" and is dated October 15, 1849.
The five incised marks indicate its five-gallon capacity.
♪ ♪ MAN: My grandfather gave it to me back in, like, around 1955, 1956.
I think the cool thing about it is, is it's, it's white and it was used in the NFL for night games back in the early '50s for about six years, I think.
But the other thing is, it's autographed by Otto Graham.
Let's look at that panel right there.
It's a little faded.
My grand, grandfather's name was True.
"To True, best wishes to a swell guy, Otto Graham."
Nice, so how did they know one another?
I'm not sure.
I was only, I was only, like, nine or ten years old.
My grandfather was a very charismatic guy and he was a huge sports fan.
And I knew even back then there was some connection with the Browns, I'm...
I'm still not sure what it was, but he referred to Paul Brown and Otto Graham as Paul and Otto.
My impression was that he did know them on a first-name basis, and, and that would be typical for him.
And a lot of people don't know really how Otto Graham got started.
He is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
And in an era where passing was not as prevalent... Yeah.
...as it is in today's NFL.
He came to Paul Brown's attention.
Paul Brown, one of the legendary coaches... Yeah.
...and the Cleveland Browns were named after him.
And Paul recruited him for the All-American Football Conference and paid him $7,500-- which at the time, in 1946, is the equivalent of, like, $100,000 today... Yeah.
...to be his quarterback.
And of course, O, Graham did not disappoint.
And then they were able to get into the NFL in 1950... Yup.
...and three more championships.
Now, interestingly enough, you know, we're talking about two things: we're talking about Otto Graham, but we're also talking about this football and what makes it special.
White footballs were first produced for night games in the NFL.
The first night game was November 6, 1929.
It was the Chicago Cardinals, before they made it to St. Louis and now Arizona, and it was the Providence Steamroller, and that's when they used the white ball for the first time.
Now, do you know what Otto Graham thought of the white football?
No, I don't.
He hated it!
(both laughing) He said they were slippery in his hands.
He couldn't get as good a grip to throw them.
Graham retired after the 1955 season.
He actually wanted to retire after '54.
He wanted to go out in that first blaze of glory with the la, his last NFL championship.
But Paul Brown lured Otto back for another year... Ah.
...for the equivalent of over $200,000.
He was the highest-paid player in the NFL, and deservedly so.
And lead them to the final championship in 1955.
Have you had it appraised?
What do you think it's worth?
I know it's somewhat rare.
I mean, I would think somewhere between $500, $1,000.
(laughing): No, no, $500 and $1,000.
(laughing): And up to $1,000.
This is a rare football.
I, I'm, I don't know if, if one, another one actually exists that's, that's signed by Otto Graham.
The other thing about this football is, we don't know the exact provenance.
We're assuming that it was probably used or issued for a game, at the very least.
And that's what I'm going to value it... My grandfather kind of implied that it was, but no proof.
Now, it's not a great signature.
Sure, Definitely has, has aged.
And Otto Graham signatures are not rare, because he passed away in 2003.
But he signed this contemporaneous with his career... Yeah.
...which makes this, again, rare and desirable, even though it's not in great condition.
If I were putting an auction estimate on it... Uh-huh.
...I'd put $2,500 to $3,000.
To insure it, I'd insure it for at least $5,000.
WOMAN: Well, my uncle bought the painting in the '50s, and it was shortly after that that my daddy started giving us different paintings and etchings.
So this painting really started something in our family.
Well, the artist is Montague Dawson and it's a watercolor.
Both his father and grandfather were marine painters.
He was born in 1890.
And as a child, his family moved to a harbor town in England.
And there he was able to really get up close to big ships, and study them, and look at the water, and he researched everything before he painted it.
He has been collected by both the royal family and American presidents, which kind of underscores how appealing his work is.
If this were offered in a retail gallery, the, the current asking price might be around $25,000.
That's more than what we thought.
Thank you, Nan.
Thank you for coming in.
MAN: Oh, it's a van Dyck.
And in the 1800s, it hung in a museum in Germany.
In the early 1900s, it was transferred to my grandmother.
So it's been in the family for 125 years, somewhere around there.
Give or take.
And it's on four parchment panels.
You told me your family name was Habisch?
Habisch was the German collector.
That was the family name of my grandmother.
So, what we have is a purported drawing by Sir Anthony van Dyck...
...who was one of the more noted artists of the 17th century.
He was a prodigy in the Netherlands in, at, at 18 years old.
By the 1630s, he was called to work for the king in England.
He sort of had reached the peak, uh, in terms of, uh, artistry and portraiture at the time.
This is a charcoal drawing and it appears to be an ecclesiastical portrait, to me.
It is on four sheets.
You can see the dividing lines here.
Uh, they are joined, and it is glued down to another sheet of paper.
Now, van Dyck was very famous in his day.
And one of the odd things to me is the idea of him joining four sheets of paper and drawing on it.
That strikes me as a red flag.
Right, mm-hmm, I understand.
That, that, that an artist of his stature would do that.
The drawing itself has passages that are very strong and also ones that seem very thick... Mm-hmm.
And there's not the, the usual bravura that you get with a van Dyck sketch.
The positive side is that your family, the Habisch family...
...were noted collectors.
And had built a collection in Kassel, Germany...
...during the late 1800s that was widely exhibited.
And in 1899, over a thousand of the works in the collection were sold at auction...
...by the estate in Stuttgart.
This obviously was not.
It continued down to you in the family.
It strikes me as odd that these works would have been shown and this potentially published and on museum checklists.
And later scholars in the 20th century putting together the catalogues of van Dyck's works... Hm.
...would not have known about it.
But then again, perhaps this was just a sketch that was missed... Mm-hmm.
...and stayed in the family.
Now, the big question is... (both laugh) ...if it's correct...
...what is it worth, if we can determine it is by Anthony van Dyck?
If we have something that is a contemporaneous imitator of van Dyck's... Mm-hmm.
...you're looking at a very strong portrait this size, from the 17th century.
We can determine perhaps who the sitter is down the line.
Maybe even the artist.
That would be in the $5,000 to $10,000, perhaps even up to $15,000, Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
...price range at auction.
Now if, doing more work on this...
...and having it established with authorship to van Dyck... Mm-hmm.
...this would be a drawing worth about $100,000 to $150,000 at auction.
So it, it certainly warrants further work.
It's something regardless, yeah.
It has promises, to me... Mm-hmm.
...based so much on the family history, and the fact that other van Dyck drawings and paintings from this collector are in museum collections...
...and have been accepted as works by van Dyck.
But it just needs... More research.
More scholarship, more research.
Thank you very much, yeah.
Thank you for bringing it in.
Yeah, I enjoyed it.
MAN: It's a brass, uh, Chinese, I believe, uh, bowl that came from my great-aunt.
The family story is that she was married to a, a doctor, and that there was some times that she had actually bartered for goods for services during the Depression.
It's Chinese, so at least you're right on the first...
Right about the... ...on the first part, but to, to describe it as a bowl is... You're part of the way there.
This is actually a, a vessel that's used for ritual purpose.
We call this a censer, and a censer is just another way of saying it's an incense burner.
Let's picture this vessel, which is bronze, not, not brass.
Chinese bronzes made for ritual purpose go back kind of prehistory, 2,000, 3,000 years BC.
So in China, maybe 1000, 1500 BC, they were making ritual vessels of this general square form, and that would be called a fang-ding.
This is not from 1000 BC.
(chuckling) This is something that follows in a long tradition.
This is more for a home shrine, perhaps, or it could be for a, for a scholar's studio.
I'm gonna lift up the bottom to show a mark that you've certainly seen, and, and probably wondered about-- this is Ming Dynasty.
Da Ming actually means "Great Ming."
Xuande is the emperor's name.
And then this is nian zhi, which just means "period made."
Now, that's a, that's a 15th-century emperor.
But this was not made in that period.
In fact, this is what we would refer to as an honorific mark.
The reason it has a 15th-century imperial mark on it is because that's a period that epitomized just a, a high point in bronze production.
The Xuande emperor was a devout Buddhist.
In his period, many vessels of this type were made to go into Buddhist temples all throughout China.
And so this form is synonymous with, with Xuande.
I think it was likely made at the tail end of the 17th century.
So it still has considerable age.
But not as old as the mark would suggest.
There are a few issues as, as far as condition goes.
I know from looking at it that this surface has been polished at some point.
Yes-- not by me.
You... (laughs): Okay!
It was actually, when, when I acquired it from my, my great-aunt, it, it, it sat on the mantel, and it, yes, it was a, it was a very shiny piece, so... (chuckles): Okay, it, it should have a burnished, kind of patinated surface.
Now, I'm happy to say that the patination has come back a little bit.
This is not as shiny as I'm sure it once was.
No, not at all.
And so keeping that, that's good.
What I do see, though, throughout, is this sort of green verdigris, or, or otherwise, we would call this bronze disease.
And this has something to do, probably with, it, it could be a matter of humidity in the air, it could be a matter of this getting wet, or just being exposed to, to something that the br, isn't good for the bronze.
I would suggest that this be taken to a conservator just to get this cleaned off.
These sorts of vessels really resonate with Chinese collectors.
They represent a history of ritual, a history of scholarship.
And so the market for these is very strong right now.
Do you have any idea what this is worth?
Or have you ever suspected what it may be worth on the market?
Not really, I mean, we, we guessed at maybe $2,500 or $3,000, something like that.
So... You're not terribly far off.
I think at auction, I would put a, what may be a conservative auction estimate, in, in 2021, of $5,000 to $8,000 for its sale.
If the patina had been left alone, and it had the original sort of beautiful brown patina, I think a value of perhaps $30,000 would not be out of the question.
Yeah, that's crazy.
Just that from her polishing it at some point.
I'm afraid so!
(laughs) ♪ ♪ MAN: Well, it was, uh, bought by my grandfather.
He paid, uh, something like $50, uh, new.
And, uh, it's been in the family, uh, ever since.
I've had it now for 40 years.
APPRAISER: It's a fabulous pre-war Martin guitar.
And rosewood-- the sides and back-- and tortoiseshell are, are all protected species now.
But obviously, this guitar came into existence before the CITES treaty, so that's not so much an issue in today's world.
Although, if you travel internationally... (chuckles) ...with things, you know, that are endangered, you, you might get into a little bit of difficulty there.
You're not probably headed to the continent anytime soon with your guitar, are you?
Not with the Martin, no.
(laughs) If this were mine and I was going to insure it, I would probably insure it for about $10,000.
Again, it doesn't matter to me.
It's the Martin, it's our guitar.
It's nice to know what I should insure it for.
WOMAN: Grandma purchased it in late 1950s, maybe 1960, from an antique auction in Pasadena, California.
She had said there were two sets made in the 1930s for the Chicago's World Fair.
And that one set belonged to Al Jolson and she bought the other set.
We have 169 pieces of this.
We found absolutely no damage at all on any single thing.
We don't believe they've ever been eaten on.
Grandma had them displayed.
Always, till the day she died.
Then her daughter-in-law inherited, my mother-in-law, who hated them, so then they got packed up, and they have been in my sister-in-law's barn.
We can look at the marks on the back.
And we have a green mark that says "Hutschenreuther, Bavaria, Germany."
And that's a manufacturer, and the mark of that manufacturer is in line with the 1930s.
So that date could be accurate, okay?
The other mark says "24 karat encrusted gold and platinum," which is in English, not in German.
This porcelain was actually made in Bavaria by the Hutschenreuther Company.
And it was shipped to the United States plain white, as blanks.
And there were many decorating companies in the United States that would then buy the white china wholesale.
They would add designs, patterns, colors to it, and then they would refire it in a kiln.
And then they would sell it.
It doesn't say who did it.
Don't know who did it for sure.
It was probably one of the decorating companies in Chicago.
So it could be World's Fair stuff, then.
Oh, that certainly makes sense.
Well, the Century of Progress Fair was in 1933-1934.
And I certainly think this is old enough for that.
Vendors, stores, manufacturers will set up world's fairs and they will show their products for sale.
Generally, they bring mass quantities of stuff.
It doesn't makes sense to only make two sets and sell it.
You, there's not much profit in that.
Could have Al Jolson owned a set like this?
He died in 1950-- I don't see why not!
Yeah, I don't... (laughs) Can't prove it one way or another.
And they came from Pasadena.
She said she paid $10,000.
In 19-- yeah, when she bought it, she paid ten grand.
Okay, well, let's, let's use the year 1955.
Which just is a little bit before.
In 1955, the cost of a two-bedroom house in the suburbia, the average cost... Mm-hmm.
...was only about $10,000 or $12,000.
Did she buy a set of china that cost as much as a house?
Did she buy a set of china that was more than double the average annual salary?
If she did spend $10,000... Mm-hmm.
...was she the sort of person who could afford to do that?
She actually had no biological children.
Our family, that she adopted, was through a marriage, and she was the prime, um, household worker, and she absolutely could afford it.
Lots of younger buyers are not interested in sets of china.
So sets of china on the second-hand market... Mm-hmm.
...and even new sets of china, have plummeted in popularity and in value.
So sets that cost a lot of money, whether it's 20 years ago or 100 years ago... Mm-hmm.
...are bringing pennies on the dollar.
If you paid an, an appraiser to appraise this for replacement value... Mm-hmm.
...I suspect that they would have probably appraised the whole set for only somewhere, maybe, between $2,000 and $4,000.
That seems ridiculously low to me.
(laughs) But it's the marketplace that makes the rules.
If you sold it at an estate sale or auction... Mm-hmm.
...it would probably sell for far less than that.
WOMAN: It's a family piece, and I don't know, uh, much about it, other than it came down through a cousin to my grandmother, then to my parents, and then to me.
So this is a pansy brooch.
This dates to around the turn of the 1900s.
1900 up to 1910.
Somewhere in that era.
And this one is great, because it's got three pansies.
Commonly, you'll see brooches with just a singular pansy on it.
And this one also has a great enamel coloring to it, and very impressive that that enamel has survived so well over all these years.
Did you ever wear it?
A couple of times, yeah.
I just, I'm always worried I would lose it.
Right, yeah, I can imagine.
And you never saw, like, whoever gave it to you wearing it?
Or anybo... My grandmother wore it, and then my mother wore it.
They took excellent care of it, that's great.
This one has, in the middle, old-European-cut diamonds, which was very indicative of the type of diamond cut you would see in that era.
A really fun piece is, is that one of them is loose.
And kind of moves around a little bit.
And what did you say your grandmother called that?
Drops of dew.
Drops of dew on the pansies.
And you can see that it moves inside the petals.
Did you ever try to find a signature on it?
And I was never able to find one.
It was marked in the family's provenance as a Tiffany.
So I'm, like, it's gotta be here somewhere, and I just could never find it.
Yeah, it, it wasn't easy to find.
(chuckles) It's on the back of one of the stems and it's textured.
Making it more difficult to find.
This is back when Louis Comfort Tiffany was running the company and the designs, Tiffany Studios.
I'm not sure if they actually designed this one or they retailed it-- they would do a little bit of both.
So the signature's on there.
Also, the diamonds are a pretty good size.
Most of the pansy brooches I see have a much smaller diamond, anywhere from about a tenth of a carat, maybe slightly larger.
Each one of these is about a quarter of a carat.
Also, of course, being from Tiffany...
...very good-quality diamonds.
When I was doing a little research on this, the much smaller versions were selling at retail for around $5,000.
But this is not the same thing.
This has much larger diamonds of much finer quality, and that Tiffany thing takes us the extra mile.
I would suspect that in a retail situation, you could easily get $15,000 to $20,000 for this.
(chuckles) Thank you so much.
Thanks for bringing it in, it's a great-looking piece.
PEÑA: Perhaps one of the best examples of an 18th-century colonial home is the Everard House.
Built in 1718, it's one of the oldest houses in Williamsburg, and has been meticulously restored to reflect its original state.
It is crucial to note that the labor of enslaved workers was vital to the workings of wealthy white families like those of Thomas Everard, a prominent figure in Williamsburg.
♪ ♪ MAN: So one day, I was on my bicycle, just going to the library, and when I passed a used goods store, and when I glanced in their, uh, drop-off bin, I saw this baby.
(sighs): And with skateboards, it's an either/or thing.
Either they're good-quality and work great, or they're not designed right, and they work awful.
And I could tell right away that that looked like it might be a good one, and... (chuckles): And it was!
And I've been riding it for six years, ever since, and I paid only five dollars for it.
I had to bargain with the guy.
I only had five dollars in my pocket.
I would've paid more, but...
So you're an active skateboarder still riding this board today?
That is amazing.
And I mean, when it comes to skate culture, you really couldn't ask for a more historically significant skateboard than the Bahne right here.
So the company, started by Bill and Bob Bahne, based out of California, they were originally a surfboard shop, and at the time, they were working on making a molded fiberglass fin for a surfboard, when all of a sudden, they crossed paths with Frank Nasworthy.
Frank Nasworthy is a godfather for modern-day skate culture.
He invented the polyurethane wheel for skateboards, which revolutionized skateboarding.
Because when the sport was first introduced in the '60s, skateboards were primarily wood decks, and their wheels were either steel or they were a clay-based composite, which, steel or clay-based composite wheels made it really difficult-- yeah, you're shaking your head.
Not fun to ride on a surface, right?
The polyurethane wheel made it so this board could cruise everywhere.
Even today, this board has such a legacy, because this is the first type of skateboard Tony Hawk ever skated on.
(laughs) Yeah, he was given the board as a hand-me-down from his brother.
And that board today is in the Smithsonian.
It's literally a national treasure.
I mean, when you think of Tony Hawk, one of the greatest, arguably, to ever skate, his childhood started on a Bahne fiberglass-molded board.
Only difference, Tony Hawk's was a blue-green board.
This is clearly orange.
Now, when it comes to skateboards today on the collectible marketplace, condition is key.
And now looking at this board, it's clearly been loved, enjoyed, used, and abused-- which is a good thing!
What can I say?
But you paid five bucks, so you're in, 100%, you're in the green for a profit, but condition-wise, it does have a nick to the top side of the board.
The Bahne graphic does have some scratching.
The biggest, uh, condition problem with the board is that the wheels are replaced.
So these would have originally been Cadillac-branded polyurethane wheels, which is the company started by Frank Nasworthy.
These are Yoyo-branded wheels, still period to the time, but not the original Cadillacs that would have came on the board.
However, it is the original Bahne-stamped metal trucks.
So in the world of value today, I'm happy to say your five-dollar investment would get you $200 to $400 at auction.
(both laughing) That's, like, a 6,900% increase on my original, the original cost of... Yeah, that's awesome!
Papa's got a brand-new bag, I'll tell you what!
(both laughing) ♪ ♪ I've had it for about 45, 46 years.
It was my grandmother's.
All I know is that before that, my mother said she had seen it in my grandmother's house forever, probably another 40 years before that.
I can tell you right away that it was made by a company called Duffner and Kimberly.
Duffner and Kimberly was based in New York, and they were a competitor of Tiffany Studios.
I knew immediately it wasn't Tiffany, because I looked at the cap, and I recognized the cap, it's a fleur-de-lis cap design.
And this has got Duffner's name all over it, even though it's not signed.
I would date it 1906, maybe 1907, 1908, just to be on the safe side.
In terms of value, in a retail shop, easily between $3,000 and $5,000.
Very cool, thank you.
PEÑA: The importance of an armory to Virginia during the Revolutionary War cannot be overstated.
Virginia needed to be able to keep pace with the mighty British arms industry.
The bird anvil used in the armory is a copy of one shipped from England to Louisa, Virginia.
Without imported tools like this, the colonial and revolutionary industries could not have been as effective as they were.
MAN: We purchased this at an open house.
An artist was selling some of her own artwork, and some of her collection, and she had this available, and my wife and I loved it immediately, and we bought it right away.
We just thought it was such a sweet painting.
The woman who we purchased it from, this was the first painting that she bought when she started her art career in New York.
Bessie Lowenhaupt is one of my favorite artists.
I'm from St. Louis, as was she.
So it was a real treat to see this come in.
Bessie Lowenhaupt was born in 1881 in Mount Vernon, Indiana.
She studied at the Chicago Art Institute.
She got married and had five children, and didn't become a practicing artist, really, until she was 75 years old.
The painting is oil on canvas, certainly dated circa 1960.
Characteristic of her paintings is the balance between abstraction and reality, and also the planes of color that she would use to create this harmonious balance in her compositions.
She also would use one dominant color in her artwork.
And she called that the master of ceremonies.
There were always muted tones-- grays, browns, earth tones-- but that was characteristic of her work.
She had only one commercial exhibit, in 1968, at the end of her life.
Uh, that was the year that she died.
It was at Martin Schweig Galleries in St. Louis.
She didn't ever sign her paintings, because she felt that that was presumptuous.
And she often didn't title her paintings.
But, uh, you have two titles, in fact... Two titles.
...on the back of this canvas.
This one, on the original tag on the back, with her address, is titled "Girl Standing for a Fitting," but it was titled a, again, and what was the title?
"Woman Descending Stairs."
Maybe the reason she didn't want to title her work is because she wanted the viewer to take their own idea away from the experience.
Was this the frame that you bought it in?
We had this recently reframed.
There wasn't a right angle on the frame.
It was sort of a, a weird configuration.
She always created her own frames.
(chuckles) She would go to a furniture store and pick up scraps of lumber.
Poplar wood is what she would use, and they would always be very thin strips.
And sometimes she would paint them to go with the painting.
I think something like this, easily, at auction, would sell between $4,000 and $6,000.
That's great, thank you, I appreciate that.
It's certainly more than we paid for it.
Yeah, do you mind divulging that price?
Uh, we paid $400 for it.
Yeah, about a dozen years ago.
I was I was there!
(both laugh) If you had the original frame, it might make a slight difference.
My parents and, and family are from Norfolk, and they spent, uh, 30-something years in the Panama Canal Zone, and when my mother retired-- my father passed away there-- she came back to Norfolk.
And at one point, a friend of hers named Toots-- really Roberta, but she was always Toots-- who was a widow, and had no children, needed surgery, and my mother said, "Come to my house, you can recuperate there, and I'll help you out."
And, um, in gratitude, Toots gave my mother this cellarette, and I inherited it from my mother.
Now, Toots's family was from around Edenton, North Carolina.
What I'm interested in finding out is, was it made here or was it imported from England?
Well, as it happens, the person who made this cellarette, um, made another cellarette that is on a pedestal in the museum at Colonial Williamsburg.
(laughs) So if you get tired of looking at your example...
I... ...you can go to the, the grand galleries at Colonial Williamsburg and see one that were made by the same hands.
I will definitely, definitely do that.
So you have a, you have a very special object here.
And the history of this piece is really tied into the history of Eastern North Carolina.
The Edenton area, where Toots's family was from... Yeah.
...is home base for this object.
This has beautiful figured walnut in the top.
Um, and it has this distinctive light wood inlay that sort of frames that crotch walnut here.
And remarkably, for all of these that I have seen, it is extremely rare to find original bottles.
So when Toots passed this on, these three blown glass bottles came with it?
It's hard to prove or disprove that they didn't start life in this cellarette.
Right here, yeah.
Um, the, the object is in great condition.
It has its original hinges, its original lock.
Um, it's walnut top to bottom.
The nice thing here is, like, if you have the only one of something, everybody sort of scratches their head and says, "Hm, like, why aren't there more of those?"
But when you have a great example that fits into a known group, the market tends to really salute.
If this were to come up at auction, I would put a pre-sale auction estimate of $50,000 to $70,000 on it.
(both laughing) So I think, like, what comes to my mind is karma.
So your family did something helpful and kind to Toots's family.
And that's a pretty nice thank you.
It's a real treasure and it's, it's a, it's a treat to see it here... Well... ...under the beautiful sky here in Williamsburg, and the, the light out here just... All the warmth of that walnut...
...and all the history that this object carries with it is...
This would fit right in there.
(laughing) It sure would.
It's quite the backdrop, isn't it?
For insurance, I would value it at $125,000.
PEÑA: And now it's time for the Roadshow Feedback Booth.
I've never seen a creamer and sugar bowl this big.
I don't know who they're serving with that much sugar.
Uh, so, uh, yeah, we have a new appreciation for it.
It will go back in the dining room cabinet, very safe, away from all of our cats, who I'm sure would love to knock it off and probably roll it around the dining room floor.
Today was good, because we got a lot of information about things we didn't know about our, uh, ancestor.
Including all the war history, and a lot of different aspects of it.
It was really interesting.
It's not going anywhere.
It's been in the family for, uh, you know, as, as long as it's been alive, and I'm sure it'll stay in the family for, uh, a long, long time.
Love the "Roadshow," what we found out is, Grandma paid too much in Pasadena... (laughs) ...for these dishes, for sure.
I was telling my husband, after the appraisal of $20,000, we're no l, I'm no longer going to make him keep it in our garage.
(laughing) When I learned the o, the value of the object today, I started wondering, how are we going to pass this along to our heirs?
We have three sons.
Now, I'm sure all three sons would love to inherit this from us someday.
(laughs) So we'll have to figure that out.
I'm going to be very careful where we put it back in the house.
(chuckles) PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."