Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Envelope Seal, ca.1860

    Appraised Value:

    $2,000 - $4,000 (1997)

    Updated Value:

    $3,500 - $7,500 (2012)

    Appraised on: July 19, 1997

    Appraised in: Phoenix, Arizona

    Appraised by: Leonard Sipiora

    Category: Glass

    Episode Info: Phoenix (#1622)

    Originally Aired: June 18, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 4 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Box
    Material: Glass, Velvet, Leather
    Value Range: $2,000 - $4,000 (1997)
    Updated Value: $3,500 - $7,500 (2012)

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (2:40)


    Appraised By:

    Leonard Sipiora
    Asian Arts, Pottery & Porcelain

    Leonard Sipiora Fine Art & Antiques

    Appraisal Transcript:
    APPRAISER: Jim, you've brought an intriguing piece this morning. Tell me what you know about the piece and its origins.

    GUEST: Well, I'm going to have to tell you my wife purchased this at an estate sale. The estate was that of a retired lawyer from Boston, Massachusetts. He was originally from Russia and was supposedly in the clergy but left that. Became a sailor. Jumped ship in New Orleans, made his way to Boston, became a lawyer-- evidently a very successful one. We were told he dealt largely with the immigrant... other immigrants from that part of the country-- Russia and the Baltics.

    APPRAISER: I see.

    GUEST: And he then retired and his estate went up for sale.

    APPRAISER: Here in Phoenix?

    GUEST: Here in Phoenix.

    APPRAISER: So he emigrated to the United States.

    GUEST: That's correct.

    APPRAISER: Practiced in Boston as an attorney with the immigrant population and moved in retirement to Phoenix. This is a seal for letters. It was never engraved, but this surface here was designed for an engraved monogram or coat of arms or a family crest. And you would use it with sealing wax on an envelope. It's beautifully cut and then has this wonderful frosted acanthus leaf motif on the head, and this front that has been engraved like a strawberry. The piece is remarkable for its condition. Equally remarkable is the velvet-lined leather-covered case. Even though it's not in the best of condition, it's still important to this piece. Do you have any idea as to its value? What did you pay for it? Or what did your wife pay for it?

    GUEST: Well, if my wife told me the truth...

    APPRAISER: Yes? (chuckles)

    GUEST: I think it was less than $100.

    APPRAISER: Less than $100.

    GUEST: Well... I don't know the exact amount.

    APPRAISER: I would appraise this between $2,000 and $4,000 in value.

    GUEST: Good.

    APPRAISER: It's an extraordinary treasure and it would be welcome in any seal collection.

    GUEST: Well, there is a downside to it because she'll probably want to go to every estate sale west of the Rockies from now on. (laughs)

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 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.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube