Cast Zinc Cigar Store Indian
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $12,000 (1999)
$8,000 - $12,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:08)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
GUEST: My grandfather owned a cigar store in Boulder, Colorado, and he stood out front of the cigar store. Our best estimate is that he bought it in about 1923, and then when he sold the store in the early 1940s, he gave it to my dad and it's been in our basement ever since for the last 55 years, I guess.
APPRAISER: You mean since the 1940s, it's been in your all's basement?
GUEST: Yeah. When we were little, we used to be a little scared of it but now that we've grown up, we realize the features are just wonderful on it.
GUEST: I was going to say, he's not too scary now.
APPRAISER: He could be on the lookout for you somewhere, you know?
GUEST: Yeah, that's what we decided.
APPRAISER: He is made out of cast zinc. These were actually meant to be put out in front of the stores. And look at his robe. He was meant to look finished from both sides. His paint is in such wonderful condition.
GUEST: Oh, is it? We were... okay.
APPRAISER: He has honest wear. See the wear on his elbow right here? Imagine how many people stood out in front of your grandfather's store and had a conversation. This is a natural place to want to put your hand and rest it. The actual foundry name-- William Demuth from New York-- is down here on the bottom of this, and that's also very significant.
GUEST: We don't know exactly what my grandpa paid for it. But he did make two entries in his business ledger: one in 1927, he was offered $500 for it, and then he made another entry in June of 1929 that said it was valued between $800 and $1,000.
APPRAISER: Was that before or after he lost his hand?
GUEST: We're not sure. We're kind of assuming before because $1,000 during the Depression years was a lot. But we're assuming; we don't know.
APPRAISER: Well, the only thing that you can say negative about condition is the fact that his hand is missing. There are professional restoration people that could put that hand back on there and it would look like it grew on there. But even as he is, because of the paint, because of the detail, his value would be in today's market between $8,000 and $12,000.
GUEST: You're kidding? Oh, wow, that's a lot more than we thought. That's great.
APPRAISER: You got to get him out of the basement and get him up in the living room.
GUEST: Okay, we'll do that, I promise.
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