"Only Angels Have Wings" Model Plane
I found this in a swap meet in Southern California. It was part of an estate that was being sold at the swap meet and it was sitting on the ground. And it had a handwritten note on it that said, "movie prop." So I got down on my knees and looked at it, and I determined by looking at it that I agreed that it was a movie prop. So I asked the gentleman who was selling what movie it was from, and he told me a title that I believe was “The Wings of an Angel.” That movie, or that title, did not match up to any movie that I was familiar with.
I've never heard of it.
So I sort of hemmed and hawed about whether or not I wanted to purchase it, because I could not remember any movie with that title. And I had decided ultimately to not purchase it, and I walked away and he...
Now, how much was it?
He was asking $250. ... So as I was walking away he just said, "Oh, the only other thing I know about it is is that Cary Grant starred in the movie." And as soon as he said that, I knew exactly what movie it was. I knew it was “Only Angels Have Wings.” And I knew that it was a Howard Hawks film. I knew that Jean Arthur and Cary Grant and Rita Hayworth were in it. But what I couldn't remember was, in the story line, the name of the airline. I ultimately bargained with him, got the price down to $195, and I loaded it in my car and I drove about as fast as I could around the corner to a local bookseller and I ran up the stairs and I found the first biography I could of Cary Grant and I flipped it open to “Only Angels Have Wings,” and there it was, Barranca Airlines.
That's fantastic. And you've really done your homework. You brought in the DVD, and we looked at it and there you can see it when you freeze the frame, it's a beautiful shot, you come right in and there's no question this is the model.
And of course that's very important in this market when you have visual evidence that it was the actual prop that was used in the movie. In the '70s, a lot of the movie studios sold off their props for giveaway prices. It was a shame. But recently-- I'd say within the last six or eight years-- a lot of specialty auction houses have made such a market out of movie props. I mean, they are selling movie props from movies that were made last year and getting amazing prices. But when you come up with a movie prop from a movie made in the 1930s, and when you come up with a movie prop that was from an important Hawks movie, it's just fantastic. And to be able to nail it down with that scene in that movie, it's really extraordinary. Value is a hard thing to say because, let's face it, this is it. There's not a half a dozen of these out there that have been floating around that we can really test the market with. But I've consulted with some friends of mine. I think this could sell easily in today's market for $5,000.
So I think a $200 investment was a very good play. Who knows? This has not only appeal to movie buffs but also to people who collect aeronautical memorabilia.
That's great. I can't believe I balked at paying $250 for it.
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.