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    20th-Century Isotta Fraschini Model Car

    Appraised Value:

    $1,500 - $1,800

    Appraised on: June 25, 2005

    Appraised in: Tampa, Florida

    Appraised by: Noel Barrett

    Category: Toys & Games

    Episode Info: Tampa, Hour 1 (#1001)

    Originally Aired: January 9, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Car, Model
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $1,500 - $1,800

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    Appraisal Video: (2:39)


    Appraised By:

    Noel Barrett
    Toys & Games
    Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I don't know a lot about it. I picked it up at an estate sale. The man collected the most unusual items. He had recently died. His wife had a great story. She said that her husband told her that when he purchased it, he was told that it... uh, had been used as a movie prop, supposedly on a Chaplin film. I have no way to prove that. And that was really all I knew.

    APPRAISER: So your feeling is it was a miniature used in a motion picture and possibly "The Great Dictator."

    GUEST: That's what they thought-- like for a long distance scene where this would be seen driving across the horizon.

    APPRAISER: It really is an absolutely stunning model and amazingly detailed. I can just barely make out on the grill here: Isotta Fraschini, which is a classic Italian car which was really the Rolls Royce of Italy. Now, as to whether or not it was used in a movie, I really think it's the case. When you see movies from the '30s and '40s, sometimes you'll see those shots where all of a sudden this truck is on a mountain road and you know it's a prop.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: It has the level of detail that would work in that kind of a long shot.

    GUEST: In that shot, right.

    APPRAISER: But I think the giveaway is right here in this little metal hook. They would have created a landscape for it to travel in and probably have a chain drive that would drag it up the road. Now, was it in "The Great Dictator?" I think it just well might have been, because "The Great Dictator" was a satire, or a takeoff on Hitler.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: And even though this is an Italian car, it bears a very close resemblance to one of the big Mercedes cars that Hitler favored. I wish you had the doll of Chaplin sitting in the back; that was probably in the long shot. Now, all you need to do is buy a DVD of "The Great Dictator," look at it very, very closely.

    GUEST: Very careful.

    APPRAISER: So you paid $300.

    GUEST: I paid $300 for it, yes.

    APPRAISER: Just as a model of a classic, classic car, I think it would be easily worth $1,500 to $1,800.

    GUEST: Oh, that's great.

    APPRAISER: So now... but if we could establish that this was actually a prop from a movie as great as "The Great Dictator," and a Chaplin film to boot, I think you're more in the $5,000 to $6,000 range.

    GUEST: Wow! I need to watch the movie, then, don't I?

    APPRAISER: You need to look at that movie.

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