Salesman's Sample Ice Box, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:09)
Toys & Games
Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a little ice box.
GUEST: Yes. It was in the home of a relative, in the attic. When I found this, she said I could take it.
APPRAISER: And you knew exactly what it was.
GUEST: Well, I kind of thought I did, that it was a salesman's sample of an old ice box.
APPRAISER: Well, this is...it is a salesman's sample, or it's the kind of thing that would be in the store to show you what an actual ice box would look like. They were made as exact miniatures and fully functional so that they could demonstrate exactly what the object would do. This is the largest one I've seen personally, and it's really attractive. Sometimes they were much smaller for the salesmen to carry around. This one's a little bit larger, but it really demonstrates the whole functionality, and it's hard for us to imagine the day when they would have to haul around big chunks of ice, and they would put them in the top here, and this one is fully lined with metal to protect the wood, and also it has the drain boards in there, and of course the water, as it melted would come down to a drip pan underneath. This one also has this wonderful cast-iron hardware, just like the real thing, and you would open the door. Here are the shelves, and you notice that the shelves are perforated, so that there's more flow of cold air throughout the whole thing. That was one of the features of this particular model.
GUEST: That's what we wondered about.
APPRAISER: And it's beautifully constructed. It has some condition issues. It probably dates from around 1890, 1910 era. As far as value, I think this at auction could bring in the neighborhood of $3,000.
GUEST: Oh, for goodness sakes.
APPRAISER: It was certainly a nice thing to find in an attic.
GUEST: Yes, it was. 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.