Appraisal Video: (3:38)
Folk Art, Furniture
Allan Katz Americana
GUEST: Well, I have a powder horn here. I don't know much about it. I'm a trader, I just ended up with it.
APPRAISER: What do you mean, you're a trader?
GUEST: Oh, I trade jewelry, horses, all kinds of stuff. I've been doing this since about the '60s. My family were all horse traders.
APPRAISER: No kidding.
GUEST: I just inherited it, I guess.
APPRAISER: Okay, and when did you trade for this?
GUEST: Oh, back in the '70s sometime.
APPRAISER: And what did you trade for it?
GUEST: I believe it was Indian jewelry, or maybe some turquoise.
APPRAISER: So, what do you think you have into it in terms of trade?
GUEST: I believe right at the time it was around $1,200 or $1,300.
APPRAISER: Well, you brought it over to the folk art table today and it's hard not to say, "Wow!"
APPRAISER: This is quite a powder horn. And I'm not going to string you out on this. I'm going to tell you right off the bat that I think this is a marvel, but I think it's a modern marvel. I don't think it is a period piece from the late 18th century.
APPRAISER: The first thing you see here is this top part has quite a bit of age to it. It has this wonderful old leather strap, and immediately, your brain digests that as being very old.
APPRAISER: But upon close examination, you can see where this top part has been carved down to fit inside the horn part. So it's actually a marriage of two horns, not one contiguous horn, and darkened right around the edge to cover up the fact that it is two pieces.
APPRAISER: So, right away, that's a dramatic warning.
APPRAISER: We then look at the bottom, and we see the holder. It's really almost like a drawer pull.
APPRAISER: It's not what should be on here. The carving and the engraving, I don't think I could pay someone to do it now.
APPRAISER: It's really beautifully done, and it's real, it's not printed on or anything, it is engraved.
APPRAISER: And clearly it's not 1761, as the date might indicate. It's pulled from a bunch of different sources. So you have a map of Upstate New York, you have this wonderful European kind of sea creature, and it was probably taken out of a compilation of books and images that this person saw. So, let's talk in terms of value. You say you have about $1,200 into it.
GUEST: Somewhere around there.
APPRAISER: A few years ago, had this been totally correct, a retail price would be around $50,000.
APPRAISER: Today, the market is weak on such items, and today we would value it at around $15,000 had it been a period horn.
APPRAISER: As a copy, as a very, very good copy, I'm going to say, for a retail price, it's worth what you paid for it.
APPRAISER: It still has this wonderful imagery and this wonderful sense of art content that you would say, "It's probably worth $1,200 to $1,500 in today's marketplace," to a collector who would say, "Wow, this is a beautiful, beautiful copy."
GUEST: Well, you never know what you're going to end up with. I just bought it 'cause I liked the way it looked.