1942 Inscribed Text Book
This is my wife's book. She had gotten it from a local library when they had a sale, and she bought it for 15 cents. It's a 1919 book that was used as a library book in Whittier, and, uh, entered their library in 1924, and then by 1942 it appears that it was used at the Santa Anita relocation camp, the Japanese internment camp. And it seems to have been a teacher's book who, I believe, taught the fourth grade, and I think it was all teachers wrote things to her saying, "Good-bye, hope we see you again at the next camp," and it talks about going to different camps, perhaps in Arkansas or Wyoming.
The book itself has almost no interest. This is really just a fourth-grade textbook. Your wife paid 15 cents, and that's actually a fair price just for the book itself. But as you say, this particular volume belonged to a woman whose first name we know but we don't know her last, but her name was Nagiko, and she was a Japanese-American who was sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center. As we know, after Pearl Harbor, a few months later, Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order to order the internment of almost 120,000 Japanese in America, two-thirds of which were American citizens. And so this woman was one of those people sent to Santa Anita. She was a fourth-grade schoolteacher, so while she was there she taught the fourth grade, and then was later sent, apparently, to one of the camps in Arkansas. So when you brought this book out, it just didn't look like very much at all, but when we opened it up and paged through, I was just really touched by what is inside, because there are inscriptions from her friends, from her colleagues, uh, I think from her students as well. You can see on this first page, we've got a date that places it September 7, 1942. And this is an inscription from a colleague. And then we've got another inscription here, a few pages in, this says September 10, 1942, and it's very difficult to see, but this one actually places it at the Santa Anita Assembly Center. And this is a really touching letter where the woman says, "Although we may not go to the same camp, we'll see each other again, and I'm hoping that we'll arrive at the same camp so that we can continue on with our friendship." And there are lots and lots of inscriptions in here. This is something that collectors would really be excited about. The book itself, again, 15 cents, a fair price, but with these inscriptions, I would place this at auction between $700 to $900.
So not bad for 15 cents, I have to say. Thanks for bringing it in.
All right. Well, thank you.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love