InBob Richter found and purchased a set of scrimshaw carving knives. The term "scrimshaw" refers to carvings done in bone and ivory, commonly the bones and teeth of whales. These intricate engravings, like on the handles of the set purchased by Bob, can be beautiful to behold, but owning animal-derived objects — specifically those made from endangered species — can carry moral and legal implications.
In July 2011, awas brought to the Tulsa, Oklahoma tour stop of . The collection received the highest appraisal in ROADSHOW history, with appraiser Lark Mason estimating the set could fetch $1 million to $1.5 million at auction (although if valued today, would be worth significantly less or, in some locations, unsalable as a result of changes to the law). The collector, Doug, described his love of the artifacts, saying, "I'd rather collect something like this than eat." While Doug's passion comes from his admiration for these works of art, others have bought and sold such items for less noble reasons, resulting in regulations on products derived from endangered species.
Collectors should keep in mind that regulations exist for more than just the rarest of animals. Following this history-making appraisal,to do their homework before acquiring or selling animal-derived products, and exercise caution to avoid complication with the law.
For more information:
Read the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW article on
Visit theto learn about regulations and policies concerning animal-derived objects
Written by MARKET WARRIORS production assistant Ayelet Ronen.