Revolutionary War Discharge Signed by George Washington
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:06)
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.
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.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 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.