Kaleidoscope Set, ca. 1800
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000 (1997)
$400 - $600 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 6
Appraisal Video: (2:15)
GUEST: This was my grandfather's, born about the turn of the century. He'd bring it out just on special occasions to let us play with it a little bit but not a lot, so I guess maybe that's why we still have the packaging and everything.
APPRAISER: Well, it's wonderful condition, the way it looks, and I want to just take a look through this. This is a wonderful turn- of-the-century kaleidoscope. I'll take a nice look through this here. And you can see all of the movements that take place in here. These were optical toys that were produced around 1820 through the turn of the century, through about 1900. This is an early piece because of the way it's constructed, which is nice. You can see on the front here there's a company name and it has the maker there. This is nice, because it gives us a good indication that this was probably the 1800s when this was produced based on not only the company name but also the way that it is constructed. Also on the other side, I do want to point this out is that if we take the lens off, you can see on the interior here is a company crest, and what's interesting is there's a small little pie shape that you can see the design through. That tells me that on the interior there's probably glass instead of mirrors and it's difficult to see the interior because of that, but it still gives you that fine effect that the mirrors give you. It's also very early. Now, other great features: you have these wonderful pieces. Do you play with this now?
GUEST: Occasionally, yeah. We've looked at all of them.
APPRAISER: And you can see how very simple materials made this visually very attractive. The other nice thing that you've brought today, you have the cases here for the discs as well as the original case for the kaleidoscope. Do you have any idea of the value of something like this?
GUEST: No, I sure don't.
APPRAISER: This is a piece that I would estimate at about $1,500 to $2,000...
APPRAISER: Because of the condition here.
GUEST: That much?
APPRAISER: Yes. So keep it in good condition.
GUEST: Oh, what a surprise--I sure will.
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