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    Revolutionary War Discharge Signed by George Washington

    Appraised Value:

    $6,000 - $10,000

    Appraised on: October 5, 1996

    Appraised in: Chicago, Illinois

    Appraised by: Stephen Massey

    Category: Books & Manuscripts

    Episode Info: Politically Collect (#1219)

    Originally Aired: November 3, 2008

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Document
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: Revolutionary War, 18th Century
    Value Range: $6,000 - $10,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:06)


    Appraised By:

    Stephen Massey
    Books & Manuscripts

    Bloomsbury Auctions

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I've got a revolutionary war discharge signed by George Washington for a man named James Columbus.

    APPRAISER: You certainly have. This is a genuine... Washington discharge papers with all the old tape work on the back, and tears just as a veteran would have carried it around in his pocket. So many of them are damaged. Here's Washington's signature, we see.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: And we've got "1777 through June 1783." So that's six years of service. Now, how did you come by this?

    GUEST: Um, actually, my mom-- she found it in a black tin box after her aunt died and she thinks it's been in her family for a long time.

    APPRAISER: These things do appear at sale, and this is a beautiful example. I see you've kept it in a Mylar folder, and I guess you've prepared this catalogue entry at the back, which is great, but, uh... Have you shown it to any friends or to...?

    GUEST: Well, yeah, actually one day about two years ago we took it in for show-and-tell and my mom-- she really didn't know what it was worth back then-- so she took it around and she passed it to all the kids and said, "You're touching something George Washington touched," and here's my mom and the teacher in a big argument of how it's real or not.

    APPRAISER: This was at your school?

    GUEST: Yeah, the teacher didn't think it was real.

    APPRAISER: Your teacher didn't believe this was real?

    GUEST: No, she didn't believe it.

    APPRAISER: Oh, I'm amazed.

    GUEST: She thought it was a fake.

    APPRAISER: No, it's as genuine as can be. Do you have any idea what it's worth?

    GUEST: Well, someone told my mom that it could be worth thousands of dollars, but...

    APPRAISER: Well, it is worth some thousands of dollars, yes, and they routinely go for between $6,000 and $10,000. The condition factor dictates the demand on the day at an auction, and I'm giving you an auction price now. But it's somewhere between $6,000 and $10,000 on a good day.

    GUEST: That's great.

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