Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Benjamin Harrison Presidential Rocker, ca. 1890

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: July 20, 1996

    Appraised in: Denver, Colorado

    Appraised by: Leslie Keno

    Category: Furniture

    Episode Info: Politically Collect (#1219)

    Originally Aired: November 3, 2008

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Rocker
    Material: Cast Iron, Brass
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $5,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (1:11)


    Appraised By:

    Leslie Keno
    Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts

    Appraisal Transcript:
    APPRAISER: I'd say we're looking at a sort of a rare model of a circa 1888 or 1890 rocker, which is a spring seat rocker with a rare patent cast-iron mechanism underneath. It's probably made by the Hunzinger Company in Brooklyn, New York, in about 1888, 1890. Of course, the great thing about your chair, which all the other chairs don't have, is a little brass plaque which is right at the back of the seat here, and it's inscribed: "Chair used by Benjamin Harrison when president of the United States, and presented by him to Colonel William Crook, March 1893." So this was actually used, of course, by President Harrison and given to his friend with the unfortunate last name of Mr. Crook. So tell me how you actually acquired this chair.

    GUEST: Well, it was in the family. I don't know exactly how it got in the family, but it was there and I noticed it as a young boy, about ten years old, and I asked my parents if I could go ahead and be the keeper of the chair, and they said,
    "Fine, it's yours."

    APPRAISER: Have you been using this ever since? I noticed you replaced the seat.

    GUEST: Yes, I have it at a nice desk in the house. I don't use it that much.

    APPRAISER: This chair has a great provenance with this 19th-century plaque, and it has a good history with it. And it's probably worth in the area, if it came up at public auction, probably in the area of about $5,000.

    GUEST: Oh, really?

    APPRAISER: Yes, absolutely.

    GUEST: Well, that is very interesting.

    APPRAISER: I'm glad you've taken such good care of it.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube