1932 Amelia Earhart Pen & Pencil Set
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $20,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:32)
APPRAISER: You brought your husband's collection of about 500 pens.
APPRAISER: How did he amass so many pens?
GUEST: It was over probably 25, 30 years that he collected.
APPRAISER: Wow. One at a time. Well, I saw some wonderful pens, but I picked out these because they were very special. Can you tell me how your husband got these?
GUEST: My husband was made aware of the pens... Whoever it was that told him was interested in the pens themselves, but for some reason was not able to connect or follow through with it, so he said to my husband, "Why don't you look into it?" And so my husband did and ended up with the pens.
APPRAISER: Wonderful. Well, what makes these special is who the owners were and who they were gifted to.
APPRAISER: They are Waterman pens, a very famous company that began in 1884 who made high-quality writing instruments for many, many years. But these are extraordinary because these pens were a gift from Amelia Earhart to her husband of then one year, George. And it has a fantastic date on it, being May 20, 1932, and on May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart did something extraordinary: she set the record for the first solo female for a transatlantic flight. She took off from Newfoundland and she landed a little short of 15 hours later in Northern Ireland. We see "George Palmer Putnam" and "From Amelia Earhart Putnam" and the date. And what I love about these especially, the fountain pen out of the set, is we have this wonderful hand engraving of her plane here in the corner over the figure of Neptune, which is the god of the seas. She met George, who was a publisher at the time. He published the Charles Lindbergh book We and was looking for a woman aviator, and he certainly found one.
APPRAISER: He tried to propose to her six times before she finally accepted. Do you remember what your husband paid for this?
GUEST: I really don't remember.
APPRAISER: The figure that comes to my mind, and I don't know if it's about this pen or one of the others that he bought, was something approximately maybe $300, but I don't know for sure. Well, certainly 14 karat gold pens just from gold weight alone are going to be valuable, but because of the connection and the personal connection to Amelia Earhart, I feel that these pens on the secondary auction market would bring between $15,000 and $20,000.
GUEST: Oh my. (laughs) Then he got a good set of pens.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 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.