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  • The Roadshow Archive

    Model "Camelback" Steam Engine

    Appraised Value:

    $6,000 - $8,000 (1998)

    Updated Value:

    $10,000 (2012)

    Appraised on: August 22, 1998

    Appraised in: Hartford, Connecticut

    Appraised by: Nancy Druckman

    Category: Toys & Games

    Episode Info: Hartford (#1726)
    Hartford (#316)

    Originally Aired: May 31, 1999

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Train
    Material: Birch
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $6,000 - $8,000 (1998)
    Updated Value: $10,000 (2012)

    Related Links:

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    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (1:52)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Nancy Druckman
    Folk Art
    Senior Vice President & Director, American Folk Art
    Sotheby's

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: It's a handmade replica of a camelback locomotive that the New Jersey Central Railroad used to use. And it was given to my grandfather by a gentleman who was a prisoner. And my grandfather met him through the Knights of Columbus. They used to go to the prisons and they'd, you know, introduce themselves. And he was a general foreman over here in East Hartford, Connecticut.

    APPRAISER: Right.

    GUEST: He was down here for about five years, and he built up quite a relationship with this gentleman. They used to talk about the train all the time. And when my grandfather got sent back to Providence, Rhode Island, the gentleman told him he had something he wanted to give him before he left, and this was it.

    APPRAISER: This is really incredible. And you also told me that you're fourth generation...

    GUEST: Fourth generation railroad, yes. The tender is a cigar box, and the boiler is a birch log that the man altered to do what he had to do.

    APPRAISER: So it was on the basis of your grandfather's relationship and friendship with this man that this came into being.

    GUEST: Right, right.

    APPRAISER: There's a lot of history that's encoded into these things. We've got kind of a document of the history of railroads here. And the other thing which is interesting that I have a little bit of perspective on, the history of prisoner art, which goes back to the 18th century with French prisoners who were in Dartmoor Prison and who had, obviously, a lot of time on their hands and made the most intricate kinds of toys and mechanical things. I would think on the auction market, it would have an estimate of somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000, and if you got a couple of railroad fans in there, it could go significantly higher.

    GUEST: Very good.



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