Ives Clockwork "Kitten in a Can," ca. 1885

Value (2012) | $3,000 Auction$4,000 Retail

This was given to me by my mother, who received it from her mother. When you pull it out... There it goes. And you'll see the cat comes up and then disappears.

I'm amazed at the condition that it's in. It's by one of the foremost toy producers of the 19th century, Ives, a Connecticut-based firm, and they made this toy around 1885. I sold one years ago, and it brought over $8,000.

Are you kidding me?

No, I'm not. So when I saw it come into the Roadshow, I was very pleased. So the kitten in the can is a great toy, and thank you for bringing it to the Roadshow.

Well, thank you, so it's worth about $8,000, huh? Wow. My wife's going to want to sell this. Here it comes. And then it will come up. There it goes.

Appraisal Details

Eric Alberta
New York, NY
Update (2012)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Retail
Update (2005)
$8,000 Auction
Appraised value (2005)
$8,000 Retail
Providence, RI (June 18, 2005)
November 12, 2012: We contacted appraiser Eric Alberta for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $3,000 - $4,000 (Decreased)

Alberta notes that a similar "kitten in a can" appeared at a November 2011 sale and sold for $3,250, plus buyer's premium, against a $2,000 to $4,000 estimate. The sale description said that it appeared in the Ives 1893 catalogue as "Mechanical Peek-A-Boo."

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