Philadelphia Brass Andirons, ca. 1800
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $7,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:21)
GUEST: I have grown up with the andirons. They sat in our house for a long time in our fireplace, and I love the design on the front. I tried looking them up on the Internet and couldn't find anything, so...
APPRAISER: Well, an andiron goes in a fireplace to support logs. These are made for a long fireplace. Most fireplaces are not going to be that deep. As you can see here, this is replaced on the back. That was probably used for many, many years and after so many years in a fireplace, they need to be replaced. There's some things I want to show you about andirons that we use to kind of determine how old they are. There's a line, do you see a line going down?
APPRAISER: That is because it was formed in two molds. And after they were formed, they were put together. And the other thing that we use in dating andirons is the underside here. This where it's peened over. If you see andirons which have a rod sticking through with a nut on them, they're not old. Because the styles have remained the same through the years, I'm sure there are andirons made even today which look very much like this, but they are not going to have the peened-over rod at their base. The other good thing about your andirons is the feet. You have that ball-and-talon foot. Many times there would be just a simple slipper foot. This is an extra feature on the andiron. And here, you have an acorn finial on the top. And on the front, and this is really the most important thing, here we have the American eagle engraved on both andirons. So we're going to say that they are Philadelphia andirons. I can say that I think at an auction, a good estimate for these circa 1800 andirons would be $5,000 to $7,000.
GUEST: You're kidding.
GUEST: Oh my gosh.
GUEST: They've been sitting in the attic with the bats and the mice recently. Thank you.
APPRAISER: Good for you. Congratulations, they're wonderful.
GUEST: Very pleased.
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