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    French Regency Gilt Bronze Plateau, ca. 1820

    Appraised Value:

    $50,000 - $70,000 (2010)

    Updated Value:

    $50,000 - $70,000 (2014)

    Appraised on: June 26, 2010

    Appraised in: Billings, Montana

    Appraised by: John Hays

    Category: Decorative Arts

    Episode Info: Manor House Treasures (#1835)
    Greatest Gifts (#1620)
    Billings (#1511)

    Originally Aired: April 18, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Tray
    Material: Bronze, Gilded
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $50,000 - $70,000 (2010)
    Updated Value: $50,000 - $70,000 (2014)

    Update 12.17.2012:

    We contacted appraiser John Hays for an updated appraisal in today's market.

    • Current Appraised Value: $50,000 - $70,000 (Unchanged)

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
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    Appraisal Video: (2:35)


    Appraised By:

    John Hays
    Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Paintings & Drawings, Silver
    Deputy Chairman

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: Our house burned down. We built a new house and our friends gave us a housewarming party. And our dear friends brought us this object.

    APPRAISER: And how have you been displaying it in your home?

    GUEST: Well, it comes in three pieces, so we bolted them together in the back and hung it as a mirror, because I thought it belonged on a table, but we didn't have a table big enough.

    APPRAISER: Your instinct was right. This was made for a table. It's what we call a plateau.

    GUEST: Oh!

    APPRAISER: This has all of the spectacular qualities that you hope to find in such a piece. It was used for putting a whole array of fruits and ceramic figures. There are wheels on the bottom of the piece.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: So it could in fact be moved on the tabletop. And they are the original wheels. These elements-- for example, these anthemions-- these were bronze cast pieces, and the surface was applied by fire gilding, which was mercury and gold mixed together and then heated up, and the mercury would then disappear and the gilding would adhere to the bronze mounts. They don't do it anymore, because it's rather dangerous to do it. But this piece was actually made in Paris in about 1820.

    GUEST: My goodness.

    APPRAISER: Now, plateaus are so rare, we would give this an auction estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.

    GUEST: Oh, my gosh, John. Oh, my gosh, John. No... No! Oh, you're giving me shivers.

    APPRAISER: It was the essence of dining in Paris. Only the elite, perhaps even a royal family, would have had such a spectacular piece. And I know it came to you from your friend.

    GUEST: Yes. She's going to faint.

    APPRAISER: Well, when she sees the show she'll be in for a surprise, but you may have a good story for her.

    GUEST: I'll have to call her before that and tell her she's rich. (chuckles)

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