1787 Benjamin Franklin Signed Deed
This is a land document that comes from my father-in-law's side of the family. It's five generations deep. It's in regard to the purchase of land in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Once the deal was made, I can only assume that perhaps it was tucked away in a box like we probably would do with our documents today. My grandfather ended up finding this in a box, unraveled it and then placed it between this glass, and this is where we are today.
It is a deed. It's from 1787, as you said. From Pennsylvania County. It's also signed by Benjamin Franklin, which makes this fabulous. The other condition issue I wanted to point out was this, the seal. It should be red, but because it is from 1787, it just probably faded over time. But it really doesn't detract from the value of the document. It's a fabulous document. If I had it in my shop, I'd have no problem putting a $5,000 to $7,000 price tag on it.
Wow. That's fabulous. This wasn't actually noticed until grandfather. Nobody knew about that.
That's... that's the money right there.
Wow. My boss says I'm not an active listener, but I heard what you said. Thank you.
No, thank you for bringing it.
Wow. That is unbelievable.
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.
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