George Carette Limousine, ca. 1905
Appraised Value: $1,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:04)
Toys & Games
Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
GUEST: My wife and I was out in western Kansas pheasant hunting and on the way back we stopped at this little old dumpy antique store in Macksville, Kansas, and unbeknownst to me, she purchased it. She gave $12 for it.
APPRAISER: Twelve dollars.
GUEST: Yeah, and she kind of hid it from me until Christmas, and she gave it to me for my Christmas present in 1965. I don't know anything about it.
APPRAISER: You don't know who made it.
GUEST: I couldn't see any markings on it.
APPRAISER: Well, it was made by a company called George Carette. They were a German company, even though he has a French name. He was a Frenchman who moved to Germany in the early 20th century-- the late 19th century-- and he made a whole line of wonderful toys. Now, this was made around 1905. And this was a period when cars were for the very rich and the toys based on them were for the very rich. It's called a Carette limousine. It has the original painted tin driver here and has wonderful features, including opening doors, and actually has a brake mechanism. It was quite a deluxe, little toy, complete with a glass windshield. But it's kind of rough condition, isn't it?
GUEST: Yes, it is.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a good thing you didn't do anything to it. You know, one of the things that we've taught a lot of people on the ROADSHOW is that, you know, restoring things or cleaning them up, you can really make a big mistake.
APPRAISER: And the thing is each case is a separate case. It depends on the object. It depends on what's wrong with it. All this enters into the mix. This is a case of a toy where a professional could really enhance the value. It's not a case where cleaning it or adding replacement parts would damage the value. I sold an exceptional example of one of these about three years ago at auction for $5,700.
GUEST: $5,700. In mint shape?
APPRAISER: Excellent condition. Not mint, excellent.
GUEST: Not mint, but excellent.
APPRAISER: If you were to sell this at auction as it sits, right now I think it would easily bring $1,000. But if... This in an eminently restorable and fixable toy. The motor can be repaired. These wheels could be properly repainted, and they make the rubber. And you can see it has really very good color. It could be enhanced by a really professional cleaning. It is also missing its side lamps. They make those. I think this thing would clean up very easily. I think you would have to invest about $300 to $400 in restoring it, and then it would easily bring $2,500, $3,500. So here's a case where if you fix it properly, you've enhanced the value.
GUEST: Man. Boy.
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