Hans Eberl Toy Van, ca. 1912

Value (2006) | $3,000 Retail

I brought my great-great-uncle's toy. He died young, and his father put it away, and when he sold the house, we got the toy. It's a Strawbridge & Clothier truck. I don't know much about it. I was told that it was made somewhere around 1912, 1914, but that's about it.

Now, where did your great-great-uncle live?

In Philadelphia, but I don't know exactly where.

But you are familiar with the firm that is on the side of this truck right here, correct?

Yes. Because someone told me it was from Tip.

No. Tip, um... Right here is TC, and that sometimes looks like the Tip & Company logo, but Tip & Company is not the producer of this piece. What I was referring to, and one of the reasons I love this toy, is that it's really a Philadelphia piece. The Strawbridge & Clothier was a very famous department store, and I really think that it is the 1912 period. The other thing that's really neat about it is that these were produced for other department stores, and collectors love to see them from other stores and other cities. And so it becomes a competition of who can get what. And I'm turning this around to point out right here is sort of a little dancing figure with the letters "H E N," and that stands for "Hans Eberl of Nuremberg." So it tells us both the manufacturer and the city it was manufactured in. So we essentially have an early transportation piece. It can be called a panel van or a delivery van, but that's really even almost before they made up those terms. It's in wonderful condition. I love the alligatoring finish that you can see on the roof. And all through here is that sort of rich crazing. Now, do you have any idea what it's worth?

No. I have no idea what it's worth. Sometime back, a family member said they thought it was about $500.

Well, I think a fair retail price is around $3,000.

Oh! Wonderful.

It's in wonderful condition. It's an advertising piece, it's fitted with a key-wind motor so that it will actually roll along, and I'm so pleased that you brought it to us in Philadelphia.

Well, thank you.

Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Eric Alberta
New York, NY
Appraised value (2006)
$3,000 Retail
Philadelphia, PA (August 05, 2006)

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.