Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Early 19th-Century Welcome Mathewson Rifle & Powderhorn

    Appraised Value:

    $100,000 - $120,000

    Appraised on: June 18, 2005

    Appraised in: Providence, Rhode Island

    Appraised by: William Guthman

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Simply the Best (#1419)
    Providence, Hour 1 (#1013)

    Originally Aired: May 8, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Powder Horn, Rifle, Document
    Material: Metal, Bone, Wood, Paper, Silver
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $100,000 - $120,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:50)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    William Guthman
    Arms & Militaria

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This is my great-great-great-great-grandfather's rifle, which he made in a gun shop right across the street from where I now live. It's never been out of the family. I've known it and admired it ever since I was a small child and my grandfather showed it to me. It's part of our family history. And I'd just like to know a little bit more about it.

    APPRAISER: And the horn was his horn?

    GUEST: The horn was his horn as well.

    APPRAISER: And the book was his account book?

    GUEST: Yep, the book is his daybook. There are two more in existence which I don't have possession of. But this is the first one, we believe.

    APPRAISER: Okay, well, his name was Welcome Mathewson, and Welcome Mathewson is one of the premier gunsmiths in New England in the early 19th century. His guns are very desirable and very rare. I only know of two or three others. It has his name "W. Mathewson" here. We have wonderful silver inlay and silver escutcheon here, and here. A nice horse head patch box and there's silver along here. It's cherry stocked, it's untouched. It's really as fine as you can get. This is a powderhorn. It was his powderhorn.

    GUEST: Yep.

    APPRAISER: It's signed "Welcome Mathewson, 1812."

    GUEST: Yep.

    APPRAISER: It's beautifully decorated. I have never, ever had a powderhorn and a rifle that belonged to the same person and the person being a maker as famous as Welcome Mathewson. And here is his account book. Welcome Mathewson, 1806, and it's the account of the work he did from 1806 to, I think, about 1809.

    GUEST: Yeah.

    APPRAISER: Repairing guns, making guns. So what you have here is probably the rarest and finest thing I've ever seen brought into this show. I've ever seen anywhere. Welcome Mathewson is a maker that any collector of New England rifles would like to have, and to have his powderhorn with it... Do you have any idea at all of the value?

    GUEST: I have absolutely no idea. I've seen horns, I actually have seen you appraise horns, just the horn by itself, and my jaw dropped then, but I've never really thought about it, except for insurance.

    APPRAISER: If I had this, and I was going to offer it, the package, I'd want $100,000, $120,000 for it.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: I really would. I mean, you're never going to see anything like this again. I won't, I never expect to. It's just great. And I thank you so much for bringing it in--

    GUEST: Well, thank you very much.

    APPRAISER: --and taking such good care of it.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 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.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube