American Silver Set & Salver
Appraised Value: $50,000 - $75,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:16)
Sarah Shinn Pratt
GUEST: This set came down through the family. The family history says that it was bought in St. Louis by a man by the name of Joseph Charlis for his wife. Joseph was a man who came from Ireland, set up printing presses, gained a fortune, lost a fortune, gained a fortune again. And at that point, he bought this set for his wife. It has a date on it of 1852. It has a stamp on it that says Biddle. We've always assumed that it was Biddle of Philadelphia. It is a slightly different color of the silver.
APPRAISER: Well, actually, it's by Bailey and Company of Philadelphia.
APPRAISER: And although it is inscribed with a date of 1852, it could be a little earlier because he started around 1848. But the decoration is very typical mid-19th century, very busy. All this foliage and this stippled ground. But what's remarkable about it is the completeness and just the sheer size of it. And the condition is unbelievable. These figures are solid silver. They are carved silver.
GUEST: Yeah, the quality is just exceptional.
APPRAISER: At auction, something like this would probably bring about $10,000 to $15,000.
APPRAISER: Now, tell me about this.
GUEST: This comes down through my husband's family, who is now deceased, so it's now mine. It is inscribed on the back, giving the history of it, that it was purchased by the first proceeds from the Warwick Furnace in Chester County.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, this is an incredibly rare salver. American by Richard Humphreys of Philadelphia, circa 1775.
APPRAISER: And it's got this beautiful gadroon rim, shell work. The feet are claw and ball. It has the maker's mark.
APPRAISER: It also has the scratch weight. The troy ounces and the pennyweights. Every time it is engraved, it gets reweighed. I noticed that it had been inscribed again with a new weight, because every time it's engraved, it weighs a little less.
GUEST: It weighs a little less.
APPRAISER: So what do you think? Do you think that this is as valuable as the set? Or, what's your feeling?
GUEST: You know, value doesn't mean a whole lot to me. They're family pieces and they will possibly go on in the family and exist.
APPRAISER: Would it surprise you that this is worth conservatively at auction between $40,000 and $60,000?
GUEST: Yeah, that does take me a little bit by surprise, because... I know it's very solid...
GUEST:...but I didn't realize it was quite so old.
APPRAISER: The only thing that hurts this is that it's been later engr... it's-- this monogram in the center is contemporary to the piece.
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: It is late 18th century, but it's been later engraved on the front. This is the first daughter and this is the second one. So that depresses the value a little bit. So that's why I'm being a little conservative, because I don't know how the market's going to react to that.
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