Appraisal Video: (0:00)
Asian Arts, Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Senior Appraiser-Fine & Decorative Arts
GUEST: We brought into the ROADSHOW today three pieces of silver that have been in the family for basically as long as I can remember. They were my great aunt's, and she owned a jewelry and silver store in a local town. And my mother worked there when she was very young. My mother inherited them from her, and then, we, in turn, inherited them from our mother.
APPRAISER: Do you know anything about who made them or...
GUEST: No. Not at all, and we haven't done any research, per se. I was under the impression that some of the stampings on them can be somewhat deceiving and/or confusing. And we just never really bothered to try and research them because we just didn't know what to really look for.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, let me tell you a little bit about what I know about them.
APPRAISER: This is an American sterling silver bowl with an open ... floral design. It's made by Gorham, a very good American company. Nice form, probably mid-20th century, and it's in very good shape. This one over here was made by Mauser, another American company. This one's a little earlier and a little heavier and a little bit more valuable because of that, and that's also very nicely decorated with a grape vine decoration. This is English. And we have here, on the bottom, marks that indicate that it was made in 1758/59. Made by an important maker, Thomas Heming, who, in 1760, went on to become the principal smith for the King of England.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness. That's impressive.
APPRAISER: So, and what you have here is a coffee pot and a beautiful, naturalistic piece of silver. Now, have you ever had them appraised?
GUEST: Well, yeah, we did. It was kind of like an informal type of situation, because it was at a showing, so to speak, off site, if you will, and they said without looking at their books back at the office, et cetera, they just basically said, well, about $800 a piece.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, silver has a fairly high retail price, and then drops off fairly significantly for fair market value or wholesale.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: So I would figure that this bowl, retail, might be $1,000, and that bowl retail might be $1,500. But this is a little different story-- important maker, good weight, very pretty piece, and I would think that a good auction estimate would be $3,000 to $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: And an insurance evaluation of $6,000 would be very, very easy.
GUEST: That's super.