Victorian Bird Display Cabinet
Appraised Value: $8,800 - $11,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:06)
GUEST: My great-great-grandfather made the cabinet. The oral tradition has it that also great-great-grandfather did the birds. Unfortunately, we have no way to verify that perfectly, but the tradition seems to be accurate in other areas. There's 55 stuffed song birds in here.
GUEST: Yes, sir. A large variety of birds-- some of them endangered, one probably extinct.
APPRAISER: Mm-hmm. Presumably, he collected these birds because they mostly are New England birds, aren't they?
GUEST: Most of them are New England birds, that's correct. For example, the flicker here on the bottom, you might notice, is a yellow-shafted flicker, more common to the eastern United States as to the red-shafted flicker that we have out here in the west.
APPRAISER: One of the things that should be noted is that these kind of stuffed birds out of the 19th century are frequently treated with arsenic, so collectors should be very careful handling them because they can be lethal in dealing with them. It's interesting that natural history and decorative arts and fine arts history was mixed up a good bit. These were sort of cabinets of curiosity, of showing the kinds of objects that could be assembled from around the world. Actually this is a wash stand-- with its marble top-- out of a bedroom set, for pitcher, bowls and that sort of thing, and this, just for exhibition purposes. This piece is rather common and it's not that expensive, in terms of price, probably in the range of $800 to $1,000. But the birds, some of them endangered, which can't be traded today, probably would figure in the range of $8,000 to $10,000. So about $1,000 for this piece, about $8,000 to $10,000 for this. Thank you for bringing it in, Richard.
GUEST: You're entirely welcome.
APPRAISER: A nice piece of family history, as well as decorative arts history. Thank you.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 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.