Gebruder Heubach Cats, ca. 1910
Appraised Value: $7,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 10
Appraisal Video: (3:16)
GUEST: I inherited them. They were either my mother's or my grandmother's. My mother told me they were her mother's. But I lost my mother when I was 12, so you don't really remember the stories clearly. And at 12, you don't pay much attention to things that are in the house-- they're not important. But they've been in a box and I just absolutely adore them.
APPRAISER: Okay, and where do you have them now? How do you store them?
GUEST: Well, I have to admit, they're stored just in a shoebox. Mostly because I wanted to decorate my daughter's bedroom with them, but she found the grin a little intimidating. And I have to admit that I found it that same way when I was a child, so I understood it.
APPRAISER: What exactly was her words? "
GUEST: A little freakish."
APPRAISER: "A little freakish." Your little kittens were made by a German firm called Gebruder Heubach. And they were made around 1910.
GUEST: Oh, grandmother's.
APPRAISER: So that would fit with your grandmother's time.
APPRAISER: They each are around six and a half inches tall. And you do have all three. Their heads are made of bisque, and their bodies are made of papier-mâché. They even have on their original little ensembles, a little cotton playsuit.
GUEST: A lot of detail in it.
APPRAISER: A lot of detail. They're just in really great, vibrant condition. The shoes don't have little nicks on them. When you started unrolling them out of your towel, I almost let out a scream because I never, hardly ever, never see them.
GUEST: I'm so surprised.
APPRAISER: And then to see three all together was just such a perfect joy.
GUEST: Are they called the three little kittens that lost their mittens?
GUEST: My mother always said that's what they were.
APPRAISER: No, they're just little cats that Heubach made. They also made a little bear. Everything about Heubach, just all the little extra detailing to the facial features just gives them so much personality. In a retail doll shop, the one gray cat would be worth $2,300. And I have seen him before.
GUEST: Oh, no. Really?
APPRAISER: Yes. The little white cat is also valued at $2,300, and sometimes I think I have seen him go a little bit higher.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: And then, oh, my goodness, this heartbreaker here. This is the little black one. I've never seen the black one. He does have a little bit of damage to his ear, so I had to keep his value around $2,300 also, even with the damage. So as a set, they're worth about $7,000.
GUEST: I don't know what to say to that. That's amazing.
APPRAISER: Are they still freakish to you?
GUEST: Well, yes, actually. Maybe they're even a little more freakish since I wasn't expecting that at all.
APPRAISER: And if this little guy didn't have the little bit of damage, I would probably put him a little bit higher for the set, around $8,000 or even more.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: You never see him.
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