20th-Century Italian Travel Posters

Value (2006) | $2,400 Auction$3,600 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
Well, when I was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, there were flea markets downtown there. One day, a guy had these. They were actually kind of beat-up, uh, particularly this one.

APPRAISER:
Define "beat-up" for me.

GUEST:
A lot of this, I honestly got from watching the ROADSHOW before. It had some water stains, I guess is what it was, in this upper field here, and then down here, this was really trashed and was falling apart. So what I did was, when I got back to the States, I shipped it in a place in New York that does restoration and linen-mounting, which is what they call this, and-- again, from the ROADSHOW. And, uh, they did it and I actually paid more for the linen-mounting and the restoration, and the shipping that was associated with than I think I did for the poster.

APPRAISER:
Again, just tell me: how much did you pay for them?

GUEST:
I think I paid 300 marks for both of them.

APPRAISER:
And what is that in dollars?

GUEST:
It was, like, it was around $200, something like that. Ballpark.

APPRAISER:
$200 for both of them?

GUEST:
Yes, sir.

APPRAISER:
And how much did you pay to have them restored?

GUEST:
A bit, a bit more than that. It was, it was, like, $100 each. I think I paid a little bit more for this one 'cause they had to do more work for it, and then the shipping costs back and forth-- My bet, I'm into them at around $500, something like that.

APPRAISER:
That's what it sounds like to me. I was trying to do the math in my head; it sounds like $500. You know, you look at them and they look really good, uh, right up front, but then you look closer and you realize there has been a lot of restoration done. I was trying to get you to define "beat-up." I think "beat-up" might have actually been a nice word. Beat-up, put through the ringer.

GUEST:
They were pretty-- yeah, they, they were torn-up. Yes, sir.

APPRAISER:
Torn, shredded. If you look closely here, you'll see they've actually re-created paper that was missing. You can see, here, where they've pieced in some losses, where they've repaired some creases, some very prominent creases. Uh, so an awful lot of work has been done on this piece. Now, one thing I'd like to show people is the whole linen- mounting process. What has been done is-- the linen itself is like canvas.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And on top of that, they have put acid-free paper, onto which the poster has then been mounted via a completely reversible process. Now, I always say to people, when they're done professionally, if you were to take this into the bathtub with you... it would float right off.

GUEST:
I don't plan on doing that.

APPRAISER:
And I don't recommend it, either. But it is a completely reversible museum-quality process, and once the poster has been mounted onto the linen, then they can begin re-painting areas, filling in areas, uh, which has been done. So here are these pieces restored. You've got about $500 into them. What would you imagine they're worth now?

GUEST:
I'd be speculating-- maybe $500 each-- It'd be a, that's just a guess on my part.

APPRAISER:
That's a fair speculation... but it's wrong. The Bellagio poster I've actually had for auction before... in better condition, okay? And it sold for $1,900.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And in this condition, even with the restoration, I would estimate it at $1,200 to $1,800.

GUEST:
Excellent.

APPRAISER:
All right? And the, uh, Lake Garda poster nearer to me, which is in better condition overall, albeit trimmed on both the top and the bottom, uh, I would estimate at the same price, at $1,200-1,800, bringing the total combined auction estimate of these two pieces at $2,400 to $3,600.

GUEST:
Excellent. Nice. We love them, we're keeping them, but, uh, that's great.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Swann Auction Galleries
New York, New York
Appraised value (2006)
$2,400 Auction$3,600 Auction
Event
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Poster
Material
Paper

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.