1861 Confederate Ammunition Crate

Value (2008) | $7,000 Retail

GUEST:
I brought this box from the Augusta Arsenal that I picked up a few years back and really wasn't sure if it was a genuine item or if it was a, uh, Civil War reenactment piece.

APPRAISER:
Where did you pick it up at?

GUEST:
I bought it from a Goodwill store in southern Michigan.

APPRAISER:
And what did it cost you?

GUEST:
Uh, under five dollars.

APPRAISER:
We have beautiful markings. On the lid, we have "600 Cartridges Caliber 44." They measured the size of the bore of the gun in hundredths of an inch-- 44 one-hundredths- of-an-inch caliber. And we have "Conical Ball," meaning that it's a true bullet, not a round ball. And we have "Augusta Arsenal," Augusta being in Georgia. They do make reproductions of this. They do make them for reenactment units, for display pieces. This one is not.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
This one's a real one. And there's a few things that we like to see on it. The nice paint. We have square-headed nails throughout. Nicely constructed. And this one, it's marked on the ends-- 600. That's how many it held. It held 600 of them. We have a little bit of damage here, where it chipped off. They would attach the lid with four screws that held it in place. These have a very low survival rate. And there's a good reason for that. After you use the cartridges out of it, what are you going to do with it? You're going to burn the wood and get rid of it,

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
or use the wood for something else. Therefore, very few of them survive. Even a smaller number survive with the lid, because once you take those screws,

GUEST:
Sure.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, there's no... there's nothing...

GUEST:
No hinge or anything to hold it.

APPRAISER:
No hinge.

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
No. And they didn't use a hinge, because it was more expensive. This was the most inexpensive way that they could attach it. This one is spectacular.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
For a Civil War collector, it sends chills up your arms to see it, because it's Confederate. Augusta Arsenal in Georgia is a Southern-made one. You run into more of these that are Northern made. Southern pieces-- very minuscule survival rate. This one is gorgeous. Have you ever had it appraised?

GUEST:
No, I haven't. I, uh, had it in the basement and always was going to get it checked out, and I just didn't know who to really go to, and when you guys came to town, I said, "Those are the guys I'm going to see."

APPRAISER:
Well, what was your hope when you left the house this morning?

GUEST:
Uh, I thought if it was genuine, and it was not a reenactment piece, I might get lucky and it might be, uh, you know, $500.

APPRAISER:
Because there's few of them, because the condition is fantastic, this is a piece that would retail for about $7,000.

GUEST:
Oh, Lord! Well, that was a pretty good pick. (laughing) I have to say I'm very pleased. Yes, very pleased.

APPRAISER:
It's a beautiful box.

GUEST:
Thank you. I had no idea it was worth that much. I really didn't.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Shiloh Civil War Relics
Savannah, TN
Appraised value (2008)
$7,000 Retail
Event
Grand Rapids, MI (August 09, 2008)
Form
Box
Material
Paint, Wood

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.