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
  • ON TV
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Japanese Enamel & Copper Box, ca. 1900

    Appraised Value:

    $2,000 - $3,000

    Appraised on: August 7, 2010

    Appraised in: Des Moines, Iowa

    Appraised by: Lark Mason

    Category: Asian Arts

    Episode Info: Des Moines, Hour 3 (#1509)

    Originally Aired: February 28, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Box
    Material: Enamel, Copper
    Period / Style: 19th Century, 20th Century
    Value Range: $2,000 - $3,000

    Related Links:

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


    Appraisal Video: (3:09)


    Appraised By:

    Lark Mason
    Asian Arts
    Lark Mason & Associates

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My husband bought a car in the late '60s at an impound lot. He paid $400 for the car. And he brought the car home and we opened up the trunk and there were several articles in the trunk and this was one of the articles. I don't know anything about the box. I always kind of used it as just like a jewelry box.

    APPRAISER: We're looking at a scene of a mountain peak rising through clouds with a forest at the base. And these are in enamel colors over a metal, and this metal is copper. And we're going to turn this around, because often we find a lot of information on the back of items. And if you look right there, you'll see a mark, and you can clearly see it's copper on the back and it has a patinated surface, made sort of mute the bright, kind of coppery color. Well, this mark is of a company in Japan called the Ando Company-- A-n-d-o. And Ando Company was established in Nagoya, Japan, in 1881.

    GUEST: Oh, my.

    APPRAISER: And they made enamel wares. Now, what's interesting about this, in addition to the scene, which is a scene showing Mount Fuji, is the shape. This type of shape you usually find is most often made of lacquer, and they were used as writing boxes in Japan. And so I was quite surprised when we opened this up and in the interior there's nothing-- it's just an open space.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: In the Meiji period, there was a lot of interchange between the West and Japan over different types of technical innovations, and among those were creation of enamels and working in metals and so on. And the use of mixed metals was very popular. But that was in the 1880s. This actually dates from a little later, around 1900, maybe even a little after 1900. So for a lot of the lacquer work and the mixed metals in the late 19th century, Japan influenced American makers. But toward the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, you have some instances, and this is one, where American makers were influencing what was going on in Japan.

    GUEST: Oh, my.

    APPRAISER: I think it would have been something that would have had a multitude of functions and was intended for sale in the West. Now, I want to know more about this car.

    GUEST: It was probably like a 1958, '59 Mercury.

    APPRAISER: How long did you drive it?

    GUEST: Oh, not too long, probably six months. I'm not real sure what happened to it.

    APPRAISER: You want to guess how much this is?

    GUEST: I don't have an idea.

    APPRAISER: How about $2,000 to $3,000 at auction?

    GUEST: No... no.

    APPRAISER: He bought a great box and a pretty lousy car is what it sounds like.

    GUEST: That's... yeah, oh, wow, wonderful.

    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