Temperance Banner, ca. 1840
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:35)
Folk Art, Furniture
Allan Katz Americana
GUEST: We think it's maybe a temperance banner. It came from my grandmother's attic. My mom and one of my aunts were cleaning out the attic-- that's the home that they grew up in-- and found this folded up in a little plastic bag. So, I've unfolded it and have tried to take as good care of it as possible.
APPRAISER: Well, the first thing we want to do is we want to try to date this. And we date something like this by looking at the material and by looking at the style of the lettering. We see it's made of a very, very fine linen material, on a beautiful cotton backing. And we think it's somewhere around 1830, 1840. So it's quite early. And it depicts the railroad. It's the metaphor, because railroads are something new and exciting, so they're telling you not to get on this train, and if you do, the stops on the train are pretty hazardous, leading all the way to Black Valley, and your tickets are sold at all liquor shops. Now, what's interesting about the temperance movement at that particular time is it's part of the overall reform movement that's going on in this country. So, this is not necessarily just something by a preacher who is anti-drinking. This is part of a serious awakening that's going on in a country that is new, and that all of a sudden, people have to show up at work, all of a sudden people are operating machinery, and liquor is cheap. It's plentiful, and people are drunk... a lot. So this whole reform movement that was coming in in the 1830s, 1840s, pre-Civil War, we're talking about education, child labor, diet and drinking. So it's a very, very important facet of American history. It would have probably been hung by a traveling temperance person giving temperance speeches. In a way, the roots of this all led up to Prohibition. There are some condition situations here, but I'm not going to use the word "condition problems," because this piece was used, it took journeys, it was hung, it was taken down, it was rehung, and really has no effect on its value. Condition remains extraordinary, because of what it is. So in terms of value, I think a retail value of this is in the $5,000 to $6,000 range.
GUEST: Well, thank you.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 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.