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


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Caricature Whirligig, ca. 1920

    Appraised Value:

    $3,000 - $5,000

    Appraised on: July 30, 2005

    Appraised in: Bismarck, North Dakota

    Appraised by: Karen Keane

    Category: Folk Art

    Episode Info: Bismarck, Hour 3 (#1012)

    Originally Aired: April 24, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Material: Wood
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $3,000 - $5,000

    Related Links:

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


    Appraisal Video: (2:13)


    Appraised By:

    Karen Keane
    Decorative Arts, Furniture
    Partner & Chief Executive Officer
    Skinner, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This was a collaboration between my uncle and his brother-in-law in, I think, very early 1920s. In later years, he took it out of an old box up in the rafters of his blacksmith shop, brought it down the ladder and gave it to me. And so it's been in the family now for a good long while.

    APPRAISER: Mm-hmm. Well, it really speaks of the 1920s for me. Had you not told me that, I think that would have been my guess. It's a wonderful caricature. When I see it, I see a vaudeville dancer. It reminds me of some of the caricatures that you see of dancing toys. This is a whirligig. It's a wind-powered toy. Whirligigs were one of the first American garden ornaments. They were 18th century to begin with. This is a 20th-century one, but just as wonderful as any. It's missing a little part here.

    GUEST: Yeah, the propeller probably blew off in a good stiff wind.

    APPRAISER: So here would have been the propeller.

    GUEST: Right, yes.

    APPRAISER: And when the wind blew, this guy would have danced.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: Right. And when the wind really blew, his arms would have gone around as well.

    GUEST: So he was a very active creature.

    APPRAISER: And then how about that section?

    GUEST: Well, that, of course, is the wind vane.

    APPRAISER: The directional to keep him dancing.

    GUEST: Yeah.

    APPRAISER: All of the gear mechanisms and findings on this whirligig are made of iron. The whirligig itself is a carved wooden piece with painted decoration. As I was talking with some of my colleagues at the folk art table, we were talking about the condition of this whirligig. Its finish and surface is a little rough. We came down on both sides of what to do with this figure, and I think we've decided that you should just leave him alone. He's wonderfully polychrome decorated and he's got varnish on him, but you still see his bright yellow bow tie coming through here, and his wonderful features and caricature, his hat, which has a gold band on it. And then those lovely colors are picked up in the directional as well here in yellow. I would probably estimate him at auction in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.

    GUEST: Mmm.

    WGBH 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.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube