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    1906 Roald Amundsen Artifacts

    Appraised Value:

    $5,000 - $7,000

    Appraised on: June 26, 2010

    Appraised in: Billings, Montana

    Appraised by: C. Wesley Cowan

    Category: Decorative Arts

    Episode Info: Billings, Hour 1 (#1510)

    Originally Aired: April 11, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 6 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Flag, Photograph, Autograph, Ephemera
    Material: Paper, Cloth
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $5,000 - $7,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:32)


    Appraised By:

    C. Wesley Cowan
    Arms & Militaria, Books & Manuscripts, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Photographs

    Cowan's Auctions, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: What you see here is a collection of items from Roald Amundsen's ship, the Gjoa. It was Norwegian, and he was the first person to transverse the Northwest Passage, and landed in Nome, Alaska, in 1906. Then he somehow hooked up with my great-grandfather, who was also Norwegian, and my great-grandfather ended up with these items.

    APPRAISER: Well, you've got a photograph here that shows the souvenirs of Amundsen on display when he was there in Nome. And this shelf and this brandy bottle or liquor bottle are illustrated in the photograph, along with the flag. In addition, you've got, I think, the captain of the ship, an autographed photograph of him, and then here's Amundsen himself, and he's autographed this.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: This photograph is signed "B.B. Dobbs."

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: Beverly Dobbs. Dobbs was the premier photographer in Nome. My favorite piece, though, is this. This is a menu for the banquet that the city of Nome threw for Roald Amundsen in 1906 when he traversed the Northwest Passage. The first guy to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the polar ice pack. And it took him three years to do this in a very, very small seal vessel. So, an amazing accomplishment. Amundsen, of course, was one of the giants of the Heroic Age of Arctic exploration.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: And he disappeared in 1928 flying in an airplane over the Arctic, looking for a comrade who had been trying to be the first person to fly over the Arctic. And so Amundsen was gone in 1928. I talked to a couple people here, and the feeling we all have is this is really exceptional. The menu is really rare. I would guess this may be the only one that exists.

    GUEST: You're kidding.

    APPRAISER: In the right auction, this group of material, I think that you could expect this to bring $5,000 to $7,000 easy. And there's a great chance, a great possibility, because of what it is, it could go for more than $10,000. But I think just to be conservative, say $5,000 to $7,000. It's just a remarkable group of material. Take it back home and hang it on the wall.

    APPRAISER: Absolutely. I think that's a great thing to do.

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