Tate Gallery Archive, ca. 1895
This is a sampling of the letters from the Tate Gallery. The original donor of the Tate Gallery was Sir Henry Tate. And he married my aunt, Amy Tate. And through the years, we have received in our family all of the original letters of sale from his donation to the Tate Gallery, along with some information about the building of the Tate Gallery and some other documents.
Now, this is just a fraction of what you brought in. You actually brought me in two huge binders of paper, which you've very carefully cataloged and organized. What did it look like when you inherited it?
When I got it, it was actually all in-- probably like most things-- in a nice cardboard box.
Was there any order to it at all?
No, there wasn't really any order. And that's what was the challenge-- to take it all apart very carefully, and to determine what it was, what year the bill of sale might be and where it might go, what order.
Well, you did a great job. This is a photograph of Sir Henry Tate.
And this is your aunt-- the much younger second wife of Sir Henry Tate, who, after his death, took over the patronage of the gallery. And this is-- it's a lithograph of the Tate Gallery, with annotations by the architect. The architect has written notes on it that say, "In order to show the progress of the construction, I've colored the lithograph." So you can see that in December of 1895, only about two-thirds of the gallery was built. And then this third document over here is an original handwritten inventory of the original 61 paintings that Sir Henry Tate gave to the gallery. And it's a phenomenal record of 19th-century English painting. Paintings from John Everett Millais. There's a Landseer. There's a Luke Fildes-- the very famous painting of “The Doctor.” In addition to that kind of documentation, you also have all of the bills of sale for the paintings themselves and correspondence with the artist, which I think is really fascinating. And if we come down here, you can see the original receipt for the purchase of the painting “Ophelia,” which is a very famous painting. Here is Ophelia. "Painting by Sir J.E. Millais." And Sir Henry actually originally paid £2,000 for this painting. Here's another receipt. This is for the painting “The Boyhood of Raleigh,” another famous painting which he actually bought at auction. So we have the price plus the premium. And then this is a letter from John Everett Millais, which relates back to the purchase of, I believe, “The Boyhood of Raleigh,” I believe this letter deals with. So you have really a phenomenally complete look at the building of a collection, and then the gift of that collection to a country. I would put it at auction, conservatively, at about $10,000--
--to $15,000. And then I would see what happens.
Because I can think of many, many people who might like to have this archive for their library.
Oh, that's great.
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.
Walt Disney | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Coming to American Experience September 14 & 15 is the unprecedented look at the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s best-known storytellers – Walt Disney
Arthur & George
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part MASTERPIECE Mystery! adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes. Airs Sundays, September 6-20