J.P. Schaum Apple Butter Copper Kettle
Appraised Value: $2,000 (1997)
IMAGE: 1 of 6
Appraisal Video: (2:30)
GUEST: My husband and I bought it, one of our first antiques we bought before we were married. And we bought it about 28 years ago. The stand was with it, and I believe we had the apple butter stirrer to it also.
APPRAISER: So you know that it's an apple butter copper kettle?
GUEST: That's what I assume it is.
APPRAISER: Yes, it is. And these copper objects were made for cooking, for broiling, stewing, roasting, and in this case, boiling apple butter, reducing it down for one of the staples of Pennsylvania German diet. What else can you tell me? How do you use it?
GUEST: Well, I use it in my living room near the fireplace. I keep firewood in it.
APPRAISER: You do?
GUEST: Yes. I probably shouldn't be doing that but that's how I've used it.
APPRAISER: Well, it dents, copper. I'd like to point out a couple of things about the construction of this. These were made out of sheet copper imported from England, largely, sometimes the continent. Now, this has been put... this sheet has been put together with dovetail joints just the way furniture was done. I'd like to just point out the dovetailing on the other side. Well, on the bottom, it runs around here. One sheet, and a sheet that wraps around as a single piece with the dovetailing down the side. They did this by essentially soldering, but then these rivets are done by what we call scrubbing irons. They're called scrubbing rivets. On three legs because these would frequently be placed in the fireplace for it to be near the burning wood, but with a substantial handle so that it could be lifted up to a crane. But most of these cooking implements were supported on three legs. I'd like to also point out the maker's name. He stamped it here on the rim where he's curled the copper over the edge-- J.P. Schaum, Lancaster, PA. I've rarely seen them marked by the maker. This is really a very nice piece of cooking equipment. How much would you think it might be worth?
GUEST: I have no idea. We paid $30 for it.
APPRAISER: Well, I would think this would be in the range of about $2,000 today.
GUEST: Are you serious?
APPRAISER: And very important because it is a marked piece. Appreciate you bringing it in today, and be careful of those logs in it.
GUEST: It won't have logs in it anymore. Thank you.
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