Frederick Nodder Fish Prints, ca. 1800
Appraised Value: $600
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:29)
Folk Art, Prints & Posters
The Philadelphia Print Shop
GUEST: I went to the Friends of the Library book sale at McKinley High School, which they have every summer, and I noticed these prints and they were on silent auction. And the money that you bid benefits the library.
GUEST: So, I just thought they were beautiful and I bid and I won.
APPRAISER: How much did you pay for them?
GUEST: I paid $50.
APPRAISER: For all four?
GUEST: For all four.
APPRAISER: That's wonderful. You told me you know what the fish are. What is this one?
GUEST: I think it's a type of triggerfish or a parrot fish.
APPRAISER: Right. And how about this?
GUEST: I believe maybe a type of angelfish, I think.
APPRAISER: Okay. And are all these Hawaiian fish?
GUEST: Yes, I think so. I've been snorkeling, I feel like I've, especially these two, seen these types when I've been in the water.
APPRAISER: Okay, and how about this one?
GUEST: I think that's a wrasse. I'd say.
APPRAISER: I think you said you didn't know for sure...
GUEST: I'm not sure what that one is. I think it's beautiful.
APPRAISER: Well, these are actually wonderful engravings. Each of them has a plate mark from the engraving quality, from the plate pushing into the paper. These are absolutely wonderful antique prints.
APPRAISER: They were done in London between 1790 and 1810. And they were done by a man named Frederick Nodder. And Nodder had a publication. It took 20 years to produce it. He did coral, he did birds, he did quadrupeds and certainly fish as well. And over this 20-year period, he made over a thousand prints--
GUEST: Oh wow.
APPRAISER: --of various life all over the world. And this was a time when the voyages of English mariners and naval personnel were bringing back this information. People like Captain Cook, Captain Bligh was here in the South Pacific doing breadfruit trees and so on. We find that there's little numbers here and here and here and so on. These were all part of the series that Nodder did. These were meant to be collected. And the ideal, let's say, would be to put them into a sequence of the numbers and you could take them to your book binder and put them into a binding.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: So, sometimes they're found in books. Sometimes they never got into books. Someone has done the Hawaiian fish in this case. And each one was engraved, printed in black and white and the color is done by hand with watercolor on each one.
GUEST: Did he do the watercolor himself?
APPRAISER: Not Nodder. Nodder would have been more the editor and the designer.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: There's an interesting side point about Nodder. For over a century, people thought that the only thing Nodder did was this naturalist miscellany. And about 25 years ago, when the British library was taken out of the British Museum and put in its own building, they found a large collection of copper plates in the basement. And they found out that these plates were from Nodder's work. And it turns out that these were lost illustrations from Cook's third voyage.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh.
APPRAISER: And then we suddenly realized that Nodder was very much plugged into the natural history of the whole world and certainly the South Pacific. They're wonderful work. Some of these are dated on the imprint, about 1800 or so. These kinds of colored fish retail for about $150 each.
GUEST: Oh, wow! I did well.
APPRAISER: You're doing just fine.
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.