Early 20th-Century Iron & Tin Rooster Trade Sign
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:36)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
Ken Farmer Auctions, LLC
GUEST: I've always collected roosters and been really fond of them, and I took a little antique tour through the middle of California, and went into San Margarita, and the gentleman just had unloaded his truck, and he really didn't know what to ask for it. Said he wanted to talk to his wife first, and his wife came by and she said, "Oh, if he wants it let him have it," and I drove home with it.
APPRAISER: So you actually got it for...?
GUEST: I bought it for $350.
APPRAISER: $350, okay. Well, let me tell you something. When you walked up to the folk art table with this thing, all of us just...
GUEST: You made me very nervous.
APPRAISER: Why did we make you nervous?
GUEST: I don't know. It seemed like from every table in this room, someone gathered around me, and I thought, "What's going on here? It's either really good or it's really bad," so... My biggest fear is getting on TV and they're telling me that it's a fake, so...
APPRAISER: Well, listen, rest assured, I'm not going to break your heart, okay. Let's get that out of the way. This is a full-bodied rooster, what I think is a trade sign. You know, it's got screws underneath his feet where he's probably mounted. Didn't you say the dealer thought it might…
GUEST: The dealer thought it might have been off of an old feed store sign or like a restaurant sign.
APPRAISER: Well, that makes sense. The feet are cast out of iron and his head is cast iron. And you can see the line where it's joined here. The rest of this is made out of tin. And he was meant to be viewed from both sides. You can see from the front, how full his body is.
APPRAISER: And the other thing that I think is incredible is the way that his tail is done. Just incredible work there. The other thing that I like about it is the surface. This is the original paint and where over time, being out in the weather has worn this away. When rain came on this, water would fall off his beak, and you've got a lot of wear right there on his breast.
APPRAISER: So he's visually appealing, he's got great surface, he dates probably between say 1900 and 1930. I mean, a lot of the whistles and bells, and believe it or not, from a size point of view, he's not...
GUEST: He's big.
APPRAISER: Well, he's big, but he's not overwhelmingly big.
APPRAISER: I mean, it's not going to take a huge place to display him. Well, all I can say is that I would let this rooster crow anywhere in my house at any point in time. For your $350, you're conservatively looking at $10,000 to $15,000.
APPRAISER: Yes. He's very unusual in that he is, the way that he's constructed and the fact that he's after 1900, it'll take a little more research, but right now, we all feel very comfortable at $10,000 to $15,000.
GUEST: Really? (both laugh)
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