Passport & Windsor Chair, ca. 1815
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $3,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:48)
GUEST: My father's family is originally from Newburyport, Massachusetts, and this document is my great- great-great-grandfather's. He was a man of color living in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and this document allowed him to travel to the South, where he had relatives. It's dated 1815, and my father passed that down to us, and we treasure it. And this we call the grandfather's chair. Now, we're not sure which grandfather-- we know it was my father's grandfather, but if it was his father, we don't know. There are various dates under here-- 1850 something, 17 something. We just always sat in it. You can see the bottom is quite worn. There were five girls in my family.
APPRAISER: Have you sat on this chair?
GUEST: I sat on this chair. My father sat on this chair. Probably his father as well.
APPRAISER: You can see it's taken quite a beating. It's a great heirloom. This actually is a passport.
APPRAISER: It's a very straightforward document. I have never, ever seen a passport in a number of items that have come through on the Antiques Roadshow in the past, so I think this is unusual.
APPRAISER: And, as we see, it's from Essex, town of Newburyport.
APPRAISER: It's notarized by a man called Woart-- W-O-A-R-T, and he is justice of the peace. It's got his seal and signature.
APPRAISER: And, as you've said, the date is 1815. It's suffered a little bit of bloom and damage, a couple of holes here, but essentially it's a great historical item.
GUEST: We think so.
APPRAISER: Here you have the respect given to a man of color in the North in 1815.
APPRAISER: It's very early. And the other interesting thing is we have crossover here, and yes, indeed, this is an absolutely genuine Massachusetts-made Windsor chair.
GUEST: It is? Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: And as you've said, it's had some repair. It's had its feet cut down, but it is a child's chair.
APPRAISER: And the fact that both have been in your family give both an aura of authenticity. At auction, the whole package, I think, is worth $2,000 to $3,000.
GUEST: Okay, all right.
APPRAISER: But obviously, it is of tremendous family significant.
GUEST: Well, we treasure both items, and this chair has... a lot of bottoms have sat on it, and we love it, and we hope to just keep passing it down.
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.