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
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Fake Powder Horn

    Appraised Value:

    $1,200 - $1,500

    Appraised on: June 18, 2011

    Appraised in: El Paso, Texas

    Appraised by: Allan Katz

    Category: Folk Art

    Episode Info: El Paso, Hour 1 (#1610)

    Originally Aired: March 26, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Powder Horn
    Material: Horn
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $1,200 - $1,500

    Related Links:

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


    Appraisal Video: (3:38)


    Appraised By:

    Allan Katz
    Folk Art, Furniture

    Allan Katz Americana

    Appraisal Transcript:
    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!"

    GUEST: Right.

    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.

    GUEST: Right.

    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.

    GUEST: Right.

    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.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: So, right away, that's a dramatic warning.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: We then look at the bottom, and we see the holder. It's really almost like a drawer pull.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    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.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: It's really beautifully done, and it's real, it's not printed on or anything, it is engraved.

    GUEST: Right.

    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.

    GUEST: Wow.

    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.

    GUEST: Okay.

    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.

    GUEST: (laughs)

    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.

    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