Appraisal Video: (3:52)
Decorative Arts, Furniture, Metalwork & Sculpture
Senior Vice President, English & Continental Furniture
Doyle New York
GUEST: When my sister and I were packing up our mother's house when she moved to Madison, we found it with some things that had come down through our paternal grandfather, who, unfortunately, died when our father was a child.
GUEST: And so, we know very little about anything that came from him. We do know that he had a career in banking. And other than that, we have no way of connecting it to him; we can only speculate how he may have gotten it.
APPRAISER: The plaque on the side says that it was given by Prince Albert to a magician named Professor Anderson, who performed at Prince Albert's birthday celebration, I believe in 1849.
APPRAISER: And some friends of ours in England did some research on Professor Anderson, and they found out that both he and his son, who followed him, toured in the United States and England. And they periodically had business rehearsals, so I can only speculate that perhaps he left it as collateral for a loan at some point. But other than that, I have no idea how it got here. I'm not even sure whether it's authentic. It is a presentational horn. And based upon what I've seen today, I'm confident that it is authentic. It's actually a Scottish Highland cattle horn. It has been heated and pressed flat. So, originally, it would have been cone-shaped, as any horn, but now it's got this flattened form. As you can see, there's a shield-shaped plaque which is applied here, which says, "Presented by Prince Albert to Professor Anderson in testimony of the prince's approval of the classical arrangements of the Grand Fete in conjunction with Professor Anderson's own extraordinary performances on the occasion of Prince Albert's birthday." And then, it's dated "28th of September, 1849." Interestingly enough, Prince Albert's birthday was actually August 26, so that may have been the day that he performed, and then it was presented at a later date. Based upon the research I've been able to do, in 1849, John Anderson, also known as "Professor Anderson," the magician-- he was a Scottish magician-- did perform for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. There are also accounts that he performed for them in London the very same year. I have a feeling, based upon the way this is presented, this is in presentation for his performance at Balmoral Castle. Up here, we have the thistle decoration, which is Scottish through and through. And then, obviously, the horn, which we feel is Highland cattle. You've got this stone here-- it's actually quartz. It's a natural clear quartz, which has been foil-backed to give it a little bit of a shine. There's a small chip to it, I believe, at the base...
APPRAISER:...which doesn't affect the value too much. And then, if we spin it one more time, you can also see again, we have a small quartz jewel that's been inset. I've taken a look at the mounts, and I've been unable to see any hallmarks, which makes me think it's not silver.
APPRAISER: I suspect that it's either a pewter or a base white metal, which I don't think affects the value considerably, because, overall, it just has a wonderful presentational look. Based upon the fact that the stones that are inset are natural quartz, as opposed to a glass, and just the overall presentation of it-- I've shown it to some colleagues, I'm confident that it's right-- I would put an auction estimate of $3,000 to $5,000 on it.
GUEST: Wow, very good.
APPRAISER: It's a very nice object, and thanks so much for bringing it in today.
GUEST: Well, thank you for your information.