17th or 18th Century Strong Box
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $8,000 (1997)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:33)
Asian Arts, Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Senior Appraiser-Fine & Decorative Arts
GUEST: We moved to London, England, in 1968 and while we were waiting to move into our flat, we went to the Chelsea antique fair. I just saw it and bought it, not knowing anything about it. But the dealer did give me a sales slip that said "Charles I, 1600 casket." I paid at that time £125, which at that time the exchange rate was $2.40, so about $250.
APPRAISER: Have you done any research or any kind of background material on it?
GUEST: Yes, I have. I found out that supposedly there's only six similar to it in the world.
APPRAISER: It is a 17th or possibly 18th century. Now, if we take a look at it, walnut and rosewood veneer on the outside with gilt metalwork all over. A delightful look, continental look, and inside we have all of the little hidden goodies, the treasures. We have a compartment that has a little compartment here on the side, if I can get that out. Maybe you can... there we are. And it pulls out a little kind of drawer for another hidden area, very, very nice. There's one on the other side also. Other side just the same. Okay, that's the top. And then there's a latch that with the interior-- I don't know if we can see that on camera, but there's a false bottom here, and a latch goes down to drop this section of the front and we have a number of drawers that come out, and again, the strongbox element. We have lots of little hidden compartments, one here, and then the central stay comes out for another hidden compartment.
GUEST: That's right.
APPRAISER: Wonderful piece. I'm not quite sure that it's as rare as you think, but I think that it's a delightful piece no matter what. Have you had any thoughts on how much it might be worth lately?
GUEST: Well, 25 years ago it was appraised in Paris for $4,000.
APPRAISER: Well, I would at this point put an auction estimate of $5,000 to $7,000, $6,000 to $8,000. So I think you've made a fairly good investment at $250.
GUEST: $250 is not bad.
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