1967 Campbell's Soup Paper Dress
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $3,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:36)
Paintings & Drawings
Nan Chisholm Fine Art, Ltd.
GUEST: I purchased it in 1967 B.C.-- before children. We'd just purchased a house and I purchased this for my wife. We were going to have a party. Instead of a party, we had twins and we put this dress away for 34 years. And then we watched the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in the year 2001. A lady had a dress made out of newspapers, and the lady told her she didn't know what the dress was worth, but there was a Campbell's Soup paper dress worth $1,200. And I asked my wife-- who never throws anything away-- "Do we still have that?" And she said, "Well, we'll see." We went down to the main tomb and found it. It was all folded up. So... I got all excited. The gentleman framed it for us-- but, if you'll notice, it's wrinkled-- and he said, "Instead of ironing it and making it nice and neat..." we left it exactly the way we pulled it out of our basement. An appraiser came through about a year later and told me the dress was worth approximately $40. So that's all I know.
APPRAISER: Well, the dress, as you know, was made by Campbell's Soup-- because that's where you purchased it in 1967-- to sort of capitalize on a fad of women wearing paper dresses. It was a very short-lived fad. And here we can see the original label. This was made "one size fits all," and you could make it as short as you wanted by cutting it off. Now, there's one size fits all if you're not pregnant with twins. It's really fun to see a Warhol-inspired work on the ROADSHOW. And in the early '60s, Warhol kind of initiated the Pop Art movement by appropriating images from advertising and other commercial sources, and these images were meant to shock the viewer. Now they seem very tame. This dress is really sort of the ultimate symbol of disposability in modern culture-- a paper dress that you can only wear once or twice-- so it's great that you have preserved it as well as you have. Now, about a month ago, one of these sold for over $2,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: So I think you could expect to get maybe between $2,000 and $3,000 at auction.
GUEST: Is that right? Oh, my goodness.
GUEST: I'll have to have my homeowner's insurance upped. Well, thank you very much. For a ten-dollar dress my wife never wore. Oh, my God. Thank you.
APPRAISER: That's great.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 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.