♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: "Antiques Roadshow" is setting up for surprises in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
APPRAISER: The shows that he did onstage were quite spicy.
Quite racy, X-rated.
They were, very spicy, yeah.
She was quite a dirty-mouth girl.
Good to know.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: When the Mount Washington Hotel opened at the turn of the 20th century, of the couple dozen hotels located in the White Mountains, it was the most luxurious.
The hotel's founder, Joseph Stickney, was a New Hampshire native.
After making a fortune in the coal and railroad industries, Stickney expanded his business interests to Bretton Woods, which by the late 1800s had become a desirable summer destination for wealthy Northeasterners who were looking for a cooler, tranquil spot.
Press of the era called the upscale lodging "palatial," "a mountain colossus," and "the finest and largest summer hotel in New England, if not the United States."
The Omni Mount Washington Resort, as it's known today, is still a vacation hot spot, though now it's open year-round.
"Roadshow" experts can't wait to see the treasures that have come in to this historic location today.
Take a look.
Dave, I feel like we're thrown back into the 1980s in an episode of "Madame's Place," the sitcom that, you know, Wayland Flowers created.
Um, you brought something really cool today.
Why don't you tell me about it?
Well, when Wayland Flowers was first starting out, one of his first jobs was in Provincetown at the Pilgrim House, and, um, my friend Dana found out that, uh, it was Wayland Flowers' birthday.
So he threw a surprise birthday party.
So Wayland Flowers gave Dana one of his Madames.
He, he, I don't know how many he had, but he had enough so that he never had to do a costume change.
He did a puppet change, because each one had a different costume on.
This was one of the original ones, because she doesn't have any hands.
The later ones, she has hands, and he has sticks in each of his hands, so he could give her a lot more animation.
And how did you get it?
Well, Dana is a longtime friend of mine, and I kept eyeing her at his house and I said, "Boy, Dana, I sure would like to have that Madame."
He said, "Well, I'll leave it to you in my will."
So several years went by, and, and finally, I says, "Dana, do I have to wait for you to die so I can get Madame?"
He said, "Oh, for cry..." Well...
So he gave it to me.
He's 88, and he still lives in Provincetown.
That's a great story, and we're looking at a piece of TV history.
Um, I think a lot of people may not realize how many ventriloquists and ventriloquists' dummies, so to speak... Yup.
...were so famous in TV.
Except that Wayland Flowers wasn't a ventriloquist.
He mouthed all the words, but the camera was always on her and the spotlight was on her, so you didn't see him.
Correct, and, and one of his famous things was having Madame say, "He's no ventriloquist, and I'm no dummy."
That was, he was known for saying that.
Well, she didn't say exactly that, but... Well, I'll leave out the expletives.
His shows... She was quite a dirty-mouth girl.
Oh, yeah, the shows that he did onstage, not on TV... Yeah.
...were quite spicy, quite racy.
They were, very spicy, yeah, yeah, they were.
Yeah, but he was a pretty impressive guy.
He was one of the early actors who came out as openly gay, which was a big breakthrough.
And he did incorporate that into a lot of his humor... Yup.
...as he went through his, his, his career.
Yeah, he did.
And he made the puppets himself.
Madame, I'm saying, is probably gonna be circa 1970s.
And I'm sure you're interested in finding out a value on Madame?
Yeah, I mean, she has a lot of value to me, but I don't know.
So I have found records for two of them that have come to auction.
Uh, one of his originals in the mid-'90s sold at a major auction house in New York City for around $4,500.
But that's 20-some-odd years ago.
Or more, actually.
Um, and another one sold fairly recently at an auction house on the West Coast for $12,500.
Uh, yeah, and, and, and quite honestly, the way the market's going now, with people just striving to buy back their childhood, and looking to buy iconic pieces of memorabilia... Yeah.
...at auction, I would probably estimate it somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000.
(laughs): Holy Moses!
So it's a nice gift.
You had a good eye.
You're quite the girl.
(chuckles) Yes, she is.
Just walking in here, so many people came up and, and, uh, introduced themself to Madame!
That's Madame, yeah, they recognize her.
Isn't that something?
WOMAN: I know it is a painting of Mount Chocorua, which is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
I know it was painted by Benjamin Champney, who had a summer home for 50-some-odd years in Center Conway, New Hampshire... Mm-hmm.
...which is just north of Chocorua, and I know that he was part of the White Mountain School of art, and other than that...
...I don't know much.
Well, Benjamin Champney was born in 1817.
He died in 1907.
A central figure in the White Mountain School.
So much so that there's a trailhead that's called Champney Falls.
And it's probably not far from where this scene is.
The painting is signed "B.
It is not dated.
I do think that it was probably painted later in his career.
So I'd say it's probably the 1880s, and the reason why I say that is because earlier works by thi-- by, uh, Champney are usually more detailed.
This has some lovely detail in it, um, but there's a lot more general, uh, more painterly aspects up here in the trees.
And you would see a much more detailed version if it were an earlier work.
If this were in a retail shop... Mm-hmm.
...um, it would probably be about $8,000.
Um, if it were to come up for auction... (sniffles softly) ...the prices are usually a little bit less, they're...
The estimates are usually more in the... (breathes deeply) ...$3,000 to $5,000 range.
(chuckles) I knew he was very prolific, so I didn't expect that, um... My mother-in-law was a consummate bargain hunter.
So she undoubtedly got this for a song, and is undoubtedly smiling.
(voice breaking): That's amazing.
You're making me cry.
Sorry, I'm sorry!
(both laughing) PEÑA: The Mount Washington Hotel is the largest wooden structure in New England, with a cut granite foundation and a steel support structure that was innovative at the time it was built at the turn of the 20th century.
I used to run a business where I made, um, jewelry out of old silverware and door hardware, and I went to an auction in Durham, New Hampshire, and there was no silverware there or door hardware, but there was this map.
And I figured I'd wait around to see what it would go for.
I had never been to an auction before.
So when it came up, I was really eager and anxious, so I put my paddle up and, uh, no one else did, so... What did you end up buying it for?
(chuckles) It was shaped like an eyeball.
So I figured I'd turn it into a, an eyeball, eventually, in an art piece.
I liked that there were mermaids and different characters on it, was unusual.
So when I got home, I looked it up, and when I didn't see anything about it, I figured we'd better hold on to it.
So it's been on the wall above the fireplace for about ten years now, and, uh, I swore I would, I wouldn't find out what it was worth until I got a chance to bring it here.
(chuckles) And sure enough... (chuckles) Here you are.
So what this is is the 1457 Genoese world map, which was a map of the world as Europeans saw it about 40 years before Columbus sailed, and before Vasco da Gama sailed around the southern coast of Africa to get to India.
It's really a fascinating map full of many mysteries.
This three-masted European ship in the Indian Ocean long before any European ship is known to have done so.
It of course shows Europe and Asia and Africa.
But it's missing some important geography.
Do you notice what it's missing?
No, I never looked that hard.
I was too busy focused on the folklore... (chuckles) ...than I was on the geography.
Well, it's missing the Americas.
(laughs) You think I would have noticed that.
And it's missing Australia.
All of which were unknown to these mapmakers at the time.
What does everybody want to see on old maps?
Unicorns, dragons, mermaids... (laughs) ...sea monsters, and this map provides that.
I remember seeing him first.
My little devil fella.
And then I think there's a mermaid somewhere.
Oh, there she is.
And that, those were the first things that I was, like, "This is super-cool."
This guy in particular that you pointed out first is a fascinating character.
He shows up in the 15th century, when this map was made, in a number of sources, and is described as "climbing onto the beach to pull cows off and eat them."
You also have these great castellated towns all throughout the world, including one here on the back of an elephant in Africa.
This is all in keeping with how maps were made in the 1450s and 1460s.
Now, this map is not actually from 1450.
As you probably picked out.
Uh, this map was made for a guy named Edward Luther Stevenson.
Who was a fascinating character.
He was an orphaned farm boy who was born in Illinois in 1858, and really pulled himself up to become one of the foremost scholars of American history at the time.
He was a professor at Rutgers, and he realized from his travels in Europe that teaching his students would be so much easier if he only had accurate representations of the maps that he was studying there to show them.
It's quite rare.
I don't think that it's probably been on the market since you bought it at that auction.
In a retail environment, I could see this being $4,000 to $5,000.
Holy moley, wow!
(laughs): I never thought that, that's crazy.
Five turned into a lot, just in a second.
That's wonderful news.
Thank you so much.
Yeah, you're welcome.
It's really special.
I guess so!
Way more than I thought.
(laughs) I'm glad I didn't...
I'm glad that you didn't cut it up.
I was just gonna say, I'm glad I didn't turn it into an eyeball, yeah.
(laughs) WOMAN: I purchased a home and it was in the attic.
Oh, cool, so you totally found it, like, "Free, it's for me."
Totally found it.
Oh, that's awesome!
Didn't have to buy it.
As a character, B-9, his iconic role is, like, "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!"
And his arm, these crazy accordion arms flying in and out.
This toy for collectors today is so iconic.
Now, in terms of value, when it comes to assessing a toy, first of all, if you're opening a toy for your birthday or Christmas, who keeps the box?
This box is very well-preserved.
But looking at the toy itself, it was not abused.
It was not really used.
You have a perfect package for a toy collector.
This is one they're absolutely going to fight over.
Today at auction, it's in the $400 to $600 range.
And I've seen them sell as high as $1,000, $1,100, on the right day at auction.
But because of the fact the motor's not working, we just can't put the high number on it.
But still, that's a really great day.
♪ ♪ MAN: I collect Negro League things, and I try to preserve the history of the Negro Leagues, and I came across this document, and I was intrigued because it references Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey both.
And I j-- just thought that was pretty awesome.
I got it from an auction site.
When I initially saw it, I thought it was going to go for a lot of money and that I wouldn't be able to afford it.
There was a lot of other, bigger things being sold.
So I ended up purchasing it, and I was just so thrilled to get it.
This is a program from, from a dinner given by the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
They started out in the '20s as the National Coalition of Christians and Jews.
And this was in 1956.
But today, they're still around.
They're the National Conference of Community and Justice, still doing their good works promoting equality, diversity, and fair treatment to everybody.
This conference is honoring Branch Rickey.
The award is given by Jackie Robinson.
Now, these two men are tied together in history, because Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson in 1946, and when he did that, he changed the face of baseball forever.
Although there's nothing written-- there's no law, there was no contract-- that African Americans, Blacks, could not play in the Major League, they had this gentlemen's agreement that they would not allow Black people to play in the Major League, but Branch Rickey, he felt, and knew, that this was wrong.
He wanted to at least have somebody like Jackie Robinson play.
So he vetted him, he watched him play.
When Branch was researching who to pick from the Negro League, he settled on Jackie Robinson, not because he was the absolutely best player, but because of his background, and because of his demeanor, because he was going to get hit with a lot of insults, a lot of abuse from his teammates, the fans, and the other managers.
So he wanted somebody who can take it, not fight back, and that was the most important thing.
So he signed him and tried him out in 1946 in Montreal, and he said, before he signed him, to give him a heads up, "Before you sign this contract, you have to be able to take this abuse."
And the abuse was horrendous.
He would get balls thrown at him.
The other players hit him with sharpened spikes.
Even his own teammates signed a petition not to allow him to play.
The fact that they're both on this...
I am just so excited, um, that they're both on this pamphlet from an organization created to promote equality, diversity, and just generally treating everybody the same.
I am absolutely thrilled to see this, and... Why do you collect Negro League memorabilia?
Um, I used to collect just autographs.
And I collected autograph cards.
And I came across a set of Negro League cards.
So I started writing them in the mail, and asking for their autographs.
And back in 1992, they had a forum for the Negro Leagues in New, in Manhattan at a school.
So I got my friend that I collect them with, I said, "Joey, we're going to New York," and when I met the players, and I talked to them...
...and they started telling me the stories... Mm-hmm.
...I was hooked after that.
If it wasn't for Branch Rickey thinking that Jackie Robinson was great...
...it might not have happened for several more years.
What did you pay for this at auction?
I think around $2,000, yes.
And how long ago was this?
It was about two years ago.
Two... Two years ago, well, today at auction, I would estimate this to go $6,000 to $8,000.
And for insurance purposes, you can insure this for as much as $10,000.
Oh, wow, that's awesome.
It's absolutely fantastic.
I'm absolutely thrilled.
I share your passion.
Yes, it's obvious that you do.
WOMAN: This spoon has been in the family.
It's a family heirloom.
It was hanging in a family camp on Lake Champlain for decades.
I've called it the wooden spoon, although there's controversy in the family as to what it's actually made out of.
My grandfather was well-traveled.
He was in the Army.
And my great-grandfather did a lot of collecting, and it's got a little Rocky Mountain sticker on the side of it.
It's a ladle.
And actually, I have seen graduated sets of these that went from the size of a regular spoon that you would use at the table... Really?
...to large-- not this large.
This is, this is a huge spoon.
This is not wood.
This is horn, this is from a Rocky Mountain sheep in the Northern Rockies.
I'll be darned.
And that's the little tag on the bottom that says "Rocky Mountains."
And the horns are taken off, heated, and shaped.
So it already had a lot of this shape.
But as far as straightening out, we're talking, you know, round rams, goes into a spiral.
So we're, it's a big animal.
I'll be darned.
There was controversy, so... Yeah, yeah, no, it... (laughs): It's horn, all right.
It's horn, it's not wood, and it's...
Yes, it is, and if you hold it up to the light, it's kind of translucent.
You can see light through it.
It was heavily scraped, probably with an iron tool.
It, it could have been a stone tool, but probably an iron tool.
This came from the Northern Rockies.
You know, so Colorado north, which would indicate that it came from one of the tribes in the Northern Plains.
We're talking, Nez Perce made spoons like this.
Yakama up in Eastern Washington, Crow, Blackfeet.
So they're... Yeah.
They were made by different tribes, but the tribes that had the most contact with that area would have been, like, the Nez Perce or the Northern Arapaho or the Northern Cheyenne.
I think this one could be as early as 1850.
Many people that were in that part of the world in the 1850s and 1860s were military.
There was mining going on.
The country was moving fast.
The railroads were going through.
So from 1850 to 1880, you had large numbers of troops stationed across the Northern Plains.
Before that, it was the fur trade.
It not only has a Native American value, it's natural history.
And not an, not an endangered animal.
They're still thriving in the Rockies.
I think it was for group meals.
At an auction...
...easily $4,000 to $6,000.
And, and this is without a doubt.... Wow!
...the largest one I've ever seen.
And the more I stand here, the better I like it.
(both laughing) APPRAISER: When I first saw this wonderful metal sign, all I could think of was, "Some pig."
This thing is beautiful.
Um, where'd you get this?
Well, I got it from a family friend... Mm-hmm.
...um, many years ago.
I do know by just reading the sign... Mm-hmm.
...that it came from Boston.
Has a pig, so, uh, guessing that it has sold... Mm-hmm.
...an advertisement selling meat?
And of course, John Squire.
John P. Squire was originally a small slaughterhouse, and they were known for their hams.
And later on, they became a multi-acre, huge operation in Boston.
And they were advertising all over the East.
Spectacular condition, great color.
I would say at auction, it would be probably around $2,000 or $3,000 estimate.
I got it for free, so... And the gentleman who gave it to me found it at the dump.
So it's very nice.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: Architect Charles Alling Gifford designed the Spanish Renaissance Revival hotel.
The original red roof, intended to imitate Spanish tile roofs, consisted of 52,000 square feet of roofing tin and two acres of gravel roofing.
The standing seam metal roof you see today was installed by the spring of 2014 at a cost of $6.5 million.
WOMAN: I've had it on my wall for about 33 years in Northern Vermont.
I found it in my father's apartment after he had passed away-- we were cleaning things out.
We were just about to leave, and I heard this kind of clunk behind a door, and it was these posters that were wrapped in architectural tracing paper.
My dad was an architect.
This was one of them.
I had a series of maybe five or six.
This one was probably in the best shape, I framed it.
Reminding me of my dad every day.
He was a collector, which I found out about after he had passed away.
I've heard of things going bump in the night, but I've never heard of things going clunk behind the door!
It's exactly what happened, exactly what happened.
And if you're gonna clunk your way into a, a set of posters, that's great.
Um, do you know anything about the poster?
About the artist, about the, the message?
I know, um, about the propaganda posters.
I was kind of fascinated with the Christy Girls, and she is one of the Christy Girls.
Howard Chandler Christy was basically the Andy Warhol of his time.
And I say Andy Warhol because Christy was one of the most, if not the most, famous artist in America at the time.
I mean, his work was everywhere, and he was as close to a rock star as you can imagine an artist could possibly be.
He was universally known.
He was apparently earning $1,000 a week in the years before the First World War doing his designs... Hm.
...an unheard-of amount of money.
And he was especially well known for his propaganda posters featuring these Christy Girls, sort of a, a spin-off of the Gibson Girls.
Charles Dana Gibson and these beautiful women in their diaphanous gowns.
To me, usually, propaganda is something that is used during a military move or during the war effort.
This poster is actually after the First World War, it's dated 1919.
More than just propaganda, it's nostalgic propaganda.
This was when people were prouder of their country than they were of their sports team.
This poster is raising awareness not for the war effort, but for the Red Cross.
"The Spirit of America."
Between 1914 and 1918, the Red Cross grew from several thousand members to tens of millions of members.
Noble work helping in hospitals.
They did help during the war effort.
Most importantly, or most currently, it's interesting, during the 1918 flu epidemic, nurses in the Red Cross were instrumental doing whatever they could.
Now, the thing about propaganda posters, and the thing about Christy's work, is that he was so popular, and his work was in such demand, that when they printed these posters, they probably printed hundreds of thousands.
These posters were distributed all across America.
Also, when you look at the auction records, you see they come up for sale fairly frequently.
They're not that rare.
So people don't like them because they are scarce.
People like these because they're beautiful.
In the grand scheme of things, it's not in great shape, right?
You have some staining on top, and it looks to me like not only is it water-stained, but at some point, someone might have put some tape on the back.
And you have some sort of creases along the bottom.
In this condition, at auction, I would estimate the poster between $600 and $900.
I think that the highest it ever sold for was $1,100.
The value to me is, there's no number I can put on it.
Your explanation of everything around it makes it that much more beautiful to me.
MAN: In 1963, my family moved from the Bronx to an apartment in New York City, in Manhattan.
And my parents, uh, worked with an interior designer in order to fix up the apartment.
They, their, their tastes in furniture were a little bit different, so they figured having somebody to, to, uh, negotiate a little, would help.
And she specified this table, uh, from George Nakashima.
It arrived in the house and we were all very excited.
It was very beautiful, uh...
The whole idea of the live edge was very different at that time.
So we used this as a dining room table for, uh, 58 years.
Your table does have a couple classic Nakashima features.
Free edges and butterflies add a lot of value to the, to a piece of Nakashima.
Unlike lots of other furniture... Mm-hmm.
...that, that we deal with on the "Antiques Roadshow"... Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
...Nakashima had a really, I think, very common-sense approach to damage to his tables.
He referred to the, the wear and tear that furniture would, would, would receive in its day-to-day life as Kevin-izing.
And Kevin was his son.
And, and he said over and over again in his writings that things that happened to the table became part of its history, part of its story, and I just love that.
I re-- more than I can tell you, I love that.
Also, Nakashima's furniture is very easy to repair.
That's the other thing.
He used a really simple oil finish.
So if you want to get it redone... Mm-hmm.
...it will not hurt the value whatsoever.
Probably, in this case, would enhance the value.
Especially if you have it done at the Nakashima studio in New Hope.
Okay, yeah, we had asked about that, and they said it would be about $2,600 to... Yeah.
It, it seemed a little expensive at the time, but may be worth it.
That'd be totally up to you.
I mean, and I agree, it, it probably is a tad more expensive.
You could have other people in, maybe, the city do it.
But I think if you keep the continuity of the Nakashima name on it... Yeah, mm-hmm.
...uh, someday, if you want to sell it or your children want to sell it, they'll thank you for it, I, I promise you.
One thing I think that's really interesting is that you have the original paperwork.
For the princely sum of $150.
The collecting environment for Nakashima is worldwide.
And it shows no sign of abating.
That's lovely, that's lovely to hear.
Yeah, and it surprises me.
Usually, there's a lifespan to these things.
But Nakashima has, uh, outlived the lifespan that I, that I thought possible.
Well, and we've seen other furniture go up and then way down.
The last few years.
Do you have any idea what you think this table might be worth?
I do not, I, at one time in my life, I...
I mean, I've, just hearing about other Nakashima tables, I, at one time in my life, I thought maybe the table's worth about $5,000, uh, but, uh, have not, you know, researched it or, or anything recently.
I would say in the condition that it's in today, it's probably worth, at auction, $8,000 to $12,000.
Wow, that's very... And I suspect that that's probably a conservative value.
That's very nice to hear, very nice to hear.
And it's, of course, it's the table that's so beautiful.
We're, we're gonna keep it.
Uh, well, this doll was given to my mother when she was a child.
My grandfather was working in one of the mansions on Bellevue Avenue, and the owner came up to him and asked if he had any daughters, and he said, "Yes, I have three daughters."
And she said, "Well, give this to your youngest daughter."
That is such a nice gift.
The wonderful thing about Léon Casimir Brû is, he made the most striking French dolls.
She has these beautiful spiral blue eyes, and this would have been in the 1880s.
And she's what we call little Bébé Brû Breveté.
She did have her hair replaced.
She has on replaced clothing and shoes.
So as she is, at auction, she would sell between $8,000 and $11,000 on today's market.
PEÑA: Carolyn Foster married Joseph Stickney in 1894, when she was 25 years old and he was 52.
Joseph died a little over a year after the Mount Washington Hotel was completed, and in 1913, Carolyn got remarried to a French royal, Aymon Jean-Baptiste Marie de Faucigny-Lucinge.
After this union, she was affectionately known as "the Princess."
WOMAN: So in 1981, my grandmother gave them to me for Christmas.
So I was ten years old.
She had originally given it to my father, and my father gave it to me on Christmas Day, and I opened it, and in the letter, it had said that she had acquired them from my grandfather, so, her husband, around 1934, um, when they lived in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
And so my father and mother took care of them until I was old enough.
She's, wrote that in her letter, "Your daddy's gonna take care of them until you're old enough to have them yourself."
So I didn't start wearing them probably until my late teenage years and my 20s, but I didn't wear them that often.
It was said that they were a natural string of pearls with a diamond clasp, so I obviously took the warning to heart.
(chuckles): I do remember wearing them for Easter Sunday or maybe a Christmas here or there, but I have not worn them for a very long time.
They've been kept in a safe place, and, um, my grandmother was this beautiful, stylish, very slim woman, um, and so, obviously, they must have looked perfect on her, uh... (laughing): But I don't quite fit that.
And so they're, um, it's more like a choker on me.
We can make it longer.
(both laugh) Yeah.
It is in fact a graduated strand of natural pearls.
How do I know that?
Okay, because I've been doing this a really long time.
(laughs) However, today, to determine if it's natural pearls... Mm-hmm.
...um, we send it off to a lab, and much like the dentist, they X-ray.
(laughing): That's what I thought.
And they X-ray the whole strand.
Because, sometimes, people string a strand of natural pearls, but when it gets to the larger ones... Mm.
...they're rarer, and sometimes, on some of these old strands, people cheat and they put a cultured pearl.
(chuckling): Okay, yeah.
These all look right and correct to me.
We do have a diamond clasp, and the diamond is probably about 40 points.
So there's... 50 would be a half a carat, so a little under.
Then we have some tiny old European-cut diamonds, much like the center stone, around the outside.
So in the whole clasp, there's maybe 60 points of diamonds.
And when you see a clasp that nice in platinum, you tend to go, "Ah!
"Let's check these pearls out.
There's a good chance they're natural."
With the clasp, platinum, the types of diamonds, and things like this, this strikes me as very much 1915 through 1925.
To put it in context, the average house was just under $5,000.
The average car was just under $1,500.
These pearls very well could have cost somewhere between $300 and $500.
I mean... That's huge, yeah.
That's a lot of money.
At that time.
So, at auction, these pearls today-- and they're still, they've always been desirable... Mm-hmm.
...um, I would say most likely $2,000 to $3,000.
For insurance purposes, it would be $6,500.
You, you can make it longer.
You can wear it.
And they're special.
They are special.
I got this cello when I was in high school.
I was playing a student cello at the time, and my cello teacher wanted me on a better instrument, so she recommended a luthier from a town about four hours from where I grew up in Florida.
And he had this cello and he put it on a Greyhound bus and we picked it up at the bus station.
So I've had it, uh, 25 years.
You play on it a lot?
You play professionally on it?
I'm, I do, do not play cello professionally.
I have a doctorate in vocal performance.
So I, I sing professionally, but I played it all growing up, through college, had a scholarship on it, but I still do play, I, I enjoy playing, and... Um, just not quite as much.
The gentleman who we got it from said that he got it from an estate sale.
He thought it was quite old.
He guessed late 1700s, early 1800s, and he thought maybe it was German.
Well, he's right about that.
It is... Oh, great!
It's probably, I was going to say between 1800 and 1820.
In Germany... Oh.
...in the Klingenthal region.
It's a great size.
It's a 29-inch back, which is a little bit unusual for German cellos; they tend to be at least 30 inches, sometimes a little bit bigger.
This is a popular size.
People like smaller cellos rather than larger cellos as a general rule.
So this cello has a label, a repair label from Portland, Maine, in the early 1900s.
But it has another label inside from the Klemm family's music store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Klemm family was a big family in, in the Klingenthal area in Germany.
They made cellos and violins and violas.
And this member of their family moved to the United States of America and started a music store.
It's really in pretty good condition for its age.
It's had a lot of repair work on the top.
The top of the, of the instrument is made from probably Bavarian spruce.
And the back, sides, and the neck are of Bavarian maple.
This is all original.
Has a very unique scroll... Mm-hmm.
...that's very telling.
These instruments originally were made in, in a Baroque fashion at that time.
This was before modern steel strings.
These would have been strung with gut strings.
And a lot less pressure was exerted on the top, and they needed to be modernized.
You either had to graft on a new neck... Mm-hmm.
...to increase its length, or put a, a maple block underneath the neck to raise it up... Mm-hmm.
...to make it so that it was the proper string length for modern playing.
This one is-- you can clearly see the lines... Yeah.
...along the side of the neck and across the heel of there, where this was raised in that fashion.
This is the original neck.
Typically, older cellos sound better than new cellos.
(laughs) Certainly to me.
I love it.
Do you remember what you paid for it when you, uh... Um, I believe it was $4,000, and that included the bow.
And the shipping on the Greyhound bus, probably.
(laughing): And the shipping on the Greyhound bus.
Well, at retail, I s-- would think that this would be priced at about $8,000 in a, uh, in a violin shop that specialized in cellos and violins.
I wonder if I could get you to maybe play a few, uh, notes on this... (laughing): Sure, sure, yeah.
...so that we can hear how it sounds.
(playing short tune) Very nice.
(laughs) Um, after listening... (people applauding) After listening to the tone of this cello, I, I would raise my estimate a little bit.
It's closer to perhaps $10,000.
It really sounds great.
Oh, great, thank you.
(laughing): It's really nice.
(laughing): Thank you.
WOMAN: This is, uh, the gun that my great-great-grandfather took to the Gold Rush, um, in the early 1850s.
From what I've been able to find, he was there from 1853 to 1855.
It's actually a Colt Model 1849 Pocket.
The serial numbers on this gun date it to being manufactured in 1856.
Yeah, so it's... Wow.
It's a year after.
And we don't know whether he stayed there longer or not, but based on '55, the gun was made in '56.
So he probably ended up with it '56, '57, maybe later.
Um, for auction, we'd put an estimate at $800 to $1,200.
You might want to look into the history a little bit more.
But it looks like it was not the gun he had with him on the Gold Rush.
So it would have been after he came back.
WOMAN: I was married on June 13, 1992.
I was living in Buffalo, New York, and my fiancé had come that weekend before the wedding.
Everything had to be paid-- the venue, the cakes, all that stuff had to be paid for.
So we didn't have a whole lot of money.
And we saw this garage sale at Children's Hospital in Buffalo.
And it was in a poured concrete, um, ramp, garage ramp, and, um... Actual garage sale.
Yes, an actual garage sale.
(chuckling) I saw a teapot, and then I saw this.
And I asked the man at the table, "What is this?"
And he said, "It's a yachting trophy."
I said, "How much for that, how much for the teapot?"
He said $25 for the teapot, $35 for that.
But I had no money.
I mean, I didn't have any money on me.
And I'm thinking, "$60?
I don't think I even have $60 in my checking account."
He held them for me.
I went to the ATM, I'm punching in my password, thinking, "Oh, please, please, let there be $60."
I was willing to bounce a check if necessary, but I didn't even have to do that.
And as it turned out, I came back, I got the teapot, and I got that.
It was on the table the day of our wedding, which was a week later.
Have you had it looked at before or appraised before?
In the mid- to late '90s.
I brought it to Rochester.
He was a, a famous appraiser of, uh, antiques in Rochester.
And he looked at it and he said, "It's from the reign of George III."
And I said, because there's an inscription on it from 1931, with the, the, the yacht race, I said, "So, the reign of George III, 1931?"
He goes, "No, I said the reign of George III."
He was kind of annoyed at me, and I said, "I heard what you said, "but it's not registering in my brain that it could be that old."
This happens a lot.
There is that inscription on the front from 1931.
So when you have a date, you really don't think to look for another date.
But, when you keep looking... ...you have around here English hallmarks.
You see that they are in fact from the reign of George III, 1820.
And it has the maker's mark of William Bateman... Mm-hmm.
...one of the silversmiths from the Bateman family of silversmiths.
And the most famous member, of course, is Hester Bateman, who is very well-known for a, an abundance of George III silver production.
You're looking at the Regency period in English design and history.
You have this abundance of grape clusters and all these elaborate leaves all around the base.
Then you look down at these griffins' heads, and they have a ducal coronet around them, and you look at the piece as a whole, it doesn't quite seem to fit.
When you look at the pieces by Bateman, you want this to be a covered cup.
So it would have had two handles coming from the side and a base that would have probably mirrored these grapevines, and a lid.
And those cups were made for presentation purposes.
This is a very significant piece, and this would not have been inexpensive in its, in its day.
The base is, is really what's throwing me a little bit, but the quality is exquisite.
You want to see some evidence that handles were taken off, or a base was removed, and I, I don't see that.
The Regency period was known for a little bit of this, this more elaborate style.
So I wouldn't be shocked if this is how it was made.
Ah... Now, I'm not convinced, but it's a wonderful piece by William Bateman.
At least the top part.
I wouldn't be surprised if someone paid anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 at auction.
(breathlessly): Oh, my gosh, that much?
(laughing): No... (choking up): Really?
Well, a lot more than I thought.
Not too bad.
(laughing breathlessly): Wow.
Worth scrambling to the ATM for.
(laughing): Yeah, really.
WOMAN: The history is, it was with my grandparents.
Um, we're not quite sure which side of the family.
Well, I have a very important question.
Were they Irish?
Well, interestingly enough, my grandmother was Irish... (laughing): Okay.
...but she was adopted.
Therefore, did not really pursue her Irish heritage.
The painting is by Aloysius O'Kelly, who is arguably one of the most important 19th-century Irish artists, but hardly, hardly a household name.
He was born in Dublin in, uh, the mid-19th century, studied in Paris, and came from a very artistic family.
His father, his uncles were all artists.
Interestingly, as well, is, the family was very, very involved in the Irish Republican movement.
He was in Brittany probably in the '70s or '80s, and I believe, based on the costuming that we see in this piece... Mm-hmm.
...it was painted in Brittany.
This painting, I think, is a really fine, fine example of his work, and in an Impressionist style that has more legs than his more dour realist scenes.
Given that, I would estimate it at auction between $8,000 and $12,000.
Wow, so it's a good thing I wrapped it up and kept it in the closet for a while?
(laughs) It's, it's, it's always best in the closet.
(both laugh) ♪ ♪ PEÑA: Guests who stay in room 314, the Princess Suite, sleep in Carolyn's own four-poster bed.
The spot looks restful, but there are some ghost hunters that say the room has a lot of paranormal activity.
♪ ♪ MAN: This is a, uh, prisoner-of-war model from circa 1800.
And a prisoner-of-war model is a model that was made by a French prisoner of war during the Napoleonic Wars, and when they were, were thrown into the clink, they had nothing better to do, and the guys who had, had skills would make various items, and this is kind of on the top of the chart of being able to make things.
So they would make these ship models or whatever it is that they might be making, and they would sell them to the jailers.
I'm actually probably about the seventh generation in my family to have it.
It's about 1800.
Uh, the Napoleonic Wars are, uh, going on.
France is pretty much at war with everybody.
Britain ruled the waves.
So these French ships of war were captured by the Brits, and the sailors were imprisoned in British, uh, prisons.
And there were four main prisons in, in Britain and they each had about 4,000 to 5,000 prisoners.
And each ship carried technical people.
They were at sea, they had to make repairs.
They were sailmakers, they were carvers, they were carpenters, and these were some of the prisoners that were kept in these British prisons.
Their diet consisted mostly of sheep and cattle.
So you're feeding 20,000 men a day.
And you could imagine the amount of what is called ration bones that were created in order to create these objects.
And the bones were, were manipulated.
They were soaked, they were steamed, and they became soft and they were easy to carve and easy to strip and make little delicate pieces.
The technical precision used in making one of these is really extraordinary.
It's really, uh, an exact model, possibly of the ship that they served on, or possibly just generic.
Some of them were made by individual craftspeople.
Some of them were made by syndicates, because someone was better at one thing... Mm-hmm.
...and another one was better at something else.
So they got together.
One of these ship models might have been able to sell for somewhere between 20 and 40 pounds sterling back in 1800.
A lot of money.
A lot of money because a laborer in England in 1800, the annual wage was around 30 pounds.
Some of the prisoners, there's records indicated that when they returned to France, they returned with a fair amount of money, and some of it was indeed sent home to their families.
We can see the technical skill is just really extraordinary, with these little hatches with the cannons, with the rigging that is so delicate.
They had drill bits.
They used needles to create these little fine tedious holes to do all this rigging.
The rigging was silk.
Sometimes they even used horsehair.
Sometimes they used human hair.
I love this particular element of it.
You have a beautiful woman beckoning the sea here, the ship's figurehead.
And that's a, an element that collectors would consider a real plus to one of these ship models.
You brought in the original case that it arrived from Europe in.
I like the, uh, the label here, which says, uh, "The contents of this case being very fragile, you will oblige by unpacking with great care."
If we put a retail value on this, we'd probably value it in the $9,000 to $12,000 range, and I think because it's a family treasure, we'd put an insurance value on it of somewhere in the $15,000 to $18,000 range.
15, 20 years ago, this might have been a $25,000- $30,000, uh, model.
Well, in 1970, I was living in Somerville, Massachusetts, and this was in the window of a secondhand appliance store.
And I used to walk by it every day to work and I really wanted it.
But it was $150, which at that time was, like, two weeks of take-home pay.
One day I walked by, and it was gone.
I was devastated, I went into the store, I asked the owner, "What happened?"
He said, "Some lady bought it."
It turns out the lady who bought it was my girlfriend.
She had gotten all of my friends together to chip in and buy it for my 21st birthday.
These came around in 1915, 1916, and were used by the Navy up until the 1980s.
And there are even some places where they're being used yet today, because it's simple to fix.
If something goes wrong with this, you can repair it out on an oil derrick or something like that.
It's early, but it's not early enough to really carry that premium.
But it's still good.
For an auction, I would put an estimate on it at $7,000 to $9,000.
He has a name, he's part of the family.
His name is Gilbert.
APPRAISER: So, I would love to know how you got this.
WOMAN: My grandfather was, um, a superintendent of the grounds at an estate in Gloucester, Massachusetts, at Eastern Point, and this apparently came from the estate.
I don't know when, but somehow he got it, and it was in his chicken coop for years, because... (chuckles) ...where do you put a, a, a piece like this?
Then it went to my parents' house, where it went to the attic, where it stayed for many years, where it came to my house in, in the '90s.
This was on the sun porch for many years.
And then in the, the summertime, we'd put it in the barn, up in the loft.
(chuckling) And then, I mean, it's traveled a lot, and then it went to my dining room not too long ago.
It's Tiffany-like in terms of the design, but we know absolutely nothing about it.
I have to say, with that back history, I am amazed that it, that it is in such phenomenal condition.
I mean, really, there are very, very few cracks in it, and because of its size, uh, something like that would be very prone to damage.
So, you obviously took very good care of it.
(laughing): By mistake.
This is an interesting piece, because, yes, it's not signed.
Um, but it is signed in its own way, because the type of glass that you see, particularly the background glass... Mm-hmm.
...was made at Tiffany.
It's a geometric shade.
This almost mimics, like, an Aztec design around the edge.
This thing is really huge.
And it's massive, and it's something that wouldn't be in full production based on the size alone-- 33 inches in diameter.
I, I'm shocked at how big it is.
What's interesting about it is, also... Yeah.
...is looking at the hardware.
Some of it's Tiffany and some of it's not.
The sockets are attached to arms and that half ball, and the pipe... Yeah.
...that goes up to the top.
Those parts are not Tiffany.
They're period... Yeah.
...but they're not Tiffany.
But the chains and the lovely arms coming out of the top... Yeah.
...those have the decorative devices... Yeah.
...that you'd see on a lot of the early Tiffany lamp bases at the time.
The finish on the shade is interesting, because it doesn't really have a finish.
And this is also characteristic of, um, pieces that are so early.
This was probably a custom-made piece for the mansion.
This based on the glass and the fact that it isn't signed... Yeah.
...makes me think that it was made between 1900 and 1902.
One of the great things about this shade is the way it's constructed, and I think one of the reasons it's survived as long as it has... Yeah.
...is, um, on the interior, it has these wonderful support fins.
And in typical Tiffany fashion, they are placed in such a way that they, they are not obscuring any part of the glass, but yet it, it lends the support to the shade.
They follow, like, the lines here... Yeah.
...and then when it gets here, it zigzags over here... Yeah, okay.
...and moves this way, where the hook was placed.
So it was very artfully done.
And that's the thing about Tiffany-- the attention to detail points in every direction that this was made by Tiffany.
Even with no signature?
I love when you ask that.
(both laugh) Because most of the fake Tiffany out there is signed.
But there's a tremendous amount of early shades that are not signed.
But the way they're made, the kind of glass that is used... Yeah.
...the design... Yeah.
...those are the signatures.
Oh, good, so I'm glad it's not signed.
Yeah, I'm happier that it's unsigned, because it really confirms the date when it was made... Yeah.
...and, uh, it's got Tiffany all over for me.
Something like this in a retail setting could be, uh, priced anywhere between $100,000 and $150,000.
Good to know.
So the pole coming down... And demi... ...and that semicircle piece... Are not...
They're not Tiffany.
Does not hurt the value.
PEÑA: And now it's time for the Roadshow Feedback Booth.
Today I brought my cello, and I was very excited, because I got to play it earlier, and I'm going to play it again for you now standing up... (laughs) ...which is not how you play the cello.
(playing short tune) (laughs) What surprised me today was what she is worth, because on the way here, I figured, "Well, $1,000 would be nice," but, uh, Phil said she's worth as much as $20,000, and that blew my mind.
I was surprised to find out that these are actually natural pearls.
I wasn't sure, I was told they were.
(chuckling): But I still had my doubts.
What surprised us today was when we brought in our wooden spoon, which is a family heirloom, we found out it's not wooden, it's actually made out of horn.
A horn from a great horned sheep, and it's Native American and 170 years old.
This is one big sheep.
(baas) Thank you, "Roadshow," for making it such a fun experience and letting me learn about something that I've held on to since 1992.
And it's been part of our family and it was probably somebody else's 100 or so years ago, 200 years ago.
And, uh, we cherish it.
Thank you, "Roadshow."
PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."