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    Edwardian Jockey Chair, ca. 1895

    Appraised Value:

    $10,000 - $15,000

    Appraised on: August 15, 2009

    Appraised in: San Jose, California

    Appraised by: Leslie Keno

    Category: Furniture

    Episode Info: San Jose, Hour 3 (#1418)

    Originally Aired: May 24, 2010

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Chair
    Material: Leather, Walnut, Oak, Cast Iron, Gilded
    Period / Style: 19th Century, Edwardian
    Value Range: $10,000 - $15,000

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    Appraisal Video: (3:04)


    Appraised By:

    Leslie Keno
    Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My wife found it in a little antique shop in the village where she grew up, which is not far from Newmarket, which is a big racecourse in England.

    APPRAISER: Okay.

    GUEST: And this actually sat in the Newmarket Jockey Club for several years. Part of the connection was that my grandfather worked for W & T Avery.

    APPRAISER: Worked for the company?

    GUEST: Until about or 1922 or ‘23. Don't know how old it is-- probably a hundred years, I don't know. It's a toy in our family room, basically. Guests come and they decide they want to weigh themselves. Unfortunately, it's painfully accurate. (laughs) It doesn't lie, so...

    APPRAISER: Well, this is a jockey chair, jockey scale. It's incredibly rare.

    GUEST: Yeah.

    APPRAISER: You don't really see them that much. And, uh, during the time period of the late 19th century when this was made, about 1895 to 1900, the W & T Avery Company in Birmingham...

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: ...produced these chairs with leather seats, walnut primary wood, and secondary wood--we see English oak. We've got these spindles, all in the Edwardian style. The base has these wonderful moldings. And then this incredible cast-iron scale with beautiful gilt decoration, all original. And of course, then, these weights. And when the jockey sat in this chair, it was a serious thing, it was very serious.

    GUEST: Yep.

    APPRAISER: If a jockey didn't make his weight, he could not feed his family.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: These were chairs sat in by men who were incredibly strong, agile. Being a jockey is probably one of the most difficult and dangerous sports in the world.

    GUEST: Yeah, yeah.

    APPRAISER: And it still is today. I think this chair is absolutely fascinating. I love the fact that it has its original leather. So all this wear we know is probably mostly from jockeys over the years.

    GUEST: Well, I think most of this damage has come from grandchildren.

    APPRAISER: Would you mind sitting in the chair?

    GUEST: I'm a bit big for a jockey. (laughing) So there we go.

    APPRAISER: Let's give this a try.

    GUEST: Feet off the floor.

    APPRAISER: Now, each one of these, this is eight stones.

    GUEST: Eight stones.

    APPRAISER: So one stone equals...

    GUEST: 14 pounds.

    APPRAISER: 14 pounds.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: Now, this is the...

    GUEST: 16 stone. I mean, I can't imagine a jockey would ever be 16 stones, but there we go. Okay, now, there's a fine adjustment here. That's another four pounds.

    APPRAISER: There it is, right about...

    GUEST: 16 stone...

    APPRAISER: About there, a little bit less. 16 stone, half a pound.

    GUEST: Just right there—so 16 stones, half pound.

    APPRAISER: And that translates...

    GUEST: To about 225 pounds.

    APPRAISER: Now, may I ask you, do you know what this is worth? Have you ever had it appraised?

    GUEST: No, as I say, it's a novelty at home, so we use it more as a toy than anything else. I paid about, by the time we got it here from the village in England, about $1,500.

    APPRAISER: $ 1,500 U.S. Well, one recently sold at an auction down south for $12,500 U.S.

    GUEST: Oh, you're kidding. (laughing)

    APPRAISER: And that one had replaced leather. And I don't know whether it had the original weights, which is so amazing these have survived.

    GUEST: That's right, yeah.

    APPRAISER: And all the original paint. I would estimate this at auction between $10,000 and $ 15,000.

    GUEST: Oh, my goodness. Well, I think the grandchildren will stay off it from now on. (both laughing)

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