Michelin Ad Figure, ca. 1905
Appraised Value: $1,200 - $1,800
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (23:20)
Toys & Games
Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
GUEST: I brought you what I think is a very early Michelin Man. My wife gave me this about 20 years ago as a birthday present. She knows I like old advertising pieces, and, uh, managed to find this at a yard sale.
APPRAISER: A yard sale?
GUEST: A yard sale, yes. Uh, and told me she paid seven dollars.
APPRAISER: Seven dollars for it?
APPRAISER: Well, you know, it is an advertising piece.
APPRAISER: Well, I was really excited when I saw this, because I love advertising pieces, and I have a particular affinity for this character. Maybe it's our similar physiques, but this is, of course, Bibendum was his name.
GUEST: Yes. Mm-hmm.
APPRAISER: And it was from Michelin Tires. And, uh, Michelin, of course, a French company...
APPRAISER: And they originally made bicycle tires, and then, when automobiles came along, made automobile tires, and they were very convinced of the importance of advertising and did wonderful French posters for Bibendum. And in America, they did these plaster statuettes. And, uh...
APPRAISER: I've seen a couple different versions about this big. And, of course, we know this was for the American market, also because the wording "tires"--
APPRAISER: --and "tubes." And what made me excited about this is, I've never, ever (and I've seen several collections of Michelin collectibles) seen this size figure.
GUEST: Well, I know I've checked on the Internet every once in a while to see if there's anything similar to it under "Michelin," and I've never seen anything that looked quite like this.
APPRAISER: It does have a little damage right here in the hand.
APPRAISER: Which a proper, a good, uh, craftsman could easily fix, and it would be almost an invisible repair.
APPRAISER: I would suggest doing that.
APPRAISER: He also probably had a cigar sticking out of his mouth.
GUEST: I know I've seen early Michelin advertising with a cigar.
APPRAISER: Yeah, yeah. Gosh, I hate all these yard sales I hear about that I never get to.
GUEST: My wife manages to find them. I never do.
APPRAISER: Well, I would value this... It's hard to put a value on it, I've never seen it.
APPRAISER: But I would say easily $1,200 to $1,500.
APPRAISER: Maybe even $1,800.
GUEST: Not a bad investment.
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