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

    Richard Humphreys Silver Sugar Bowl, Philadelphia, ca. 1775

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: June 6, 2009

    Appraised in: Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Appraised by: Ronald Bourgeault

    Category: Decorative Arts

    Episode Info: Atlantic City, Hour 3 (#1406)

    Originally Aired: February 8, 2010

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Bowl
    Material: Silver
    Period / Style: 18th Century
    Value Range: $10,000

    Related Links:

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


    Appraisal Video: (2:28)


    Appraised By:

    Ronald Bourgeault
    Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Silver
    Owner, Appraiser and Chief Auctioneer
    Northeast Auctions

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This sugar bowl I purchased in a consignment shop in a suburb of Philadelphia. The price was $225. The shop operator was friends with the woman who consigned the piece, and it was from a famous family in Philadelphia, the Morris family. Their home was in Germantown, Pennsylvania. And when the yellow fever epidemic hit Philadelphia in the 18th century, George Washington stayed at that house to get out of the city and away from the disease.

    APPRAISER: Now, when did you buy this?

    GUEST: I purchased it in the mid-1970s. It was rather expensive for me at that time.

    APPRAISER: This sugar bowl was made by Richard Humphreys. It has his beautiful stamped mark on the bottom. And Humphreys was a very good silversmith in Philadelphia. He was actually born in the West Indies in 1749, and he moved to Philadelphia sometime probably in the early 1770s. It's very interesting to have such a beautiful sugar bowl. The beautiful embossed and chased repoussé decoration of the flowers and the swags is something that you don't find on all silver from this period. It probably dates in the 1770s. And it also is in wonderful condition. You notice that it's a little dented here, and the cover really doesn't fit on exactly. One thing that I might recommend doing would be to have it straightened, because that's all it really needs. One of the wonderful features is this original pin where the finial was put on and then hand-hammered down. I truly think that it's one of the best pieces of silver I've ever seen on the Antiques Roadshow. It was made for the Morris family, as you said, a very famous family. There were many different branches of the Morris family, so it will take a lot of research to figure out exactly what branch it was made for. Now, you paid $225 for it 30-some years ago. What do you think it's worth today?

    GUEST: If I had to guess, I would say in the $2,500 to $3,000 range.

    APPRAISER: Because of the decoration on this piece, I feel that it's worth more than an average piece of Philadelphia silver. There was another Humphreys sugar bowl sold recently for around $7,000. But I honestly feel that this one, conservatively, at auction is worth $10,000 because it's such a wonderful piece of silver.

    GUEST: Wow. That's wonderful.

    APPRAISER: I'm very surprised and happy about it. Thank you.

    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