Gustav Stickley Andirons, ca. 1905

Value (2008) | $10,000 Retail$15,000 Retail

I got them at a yard sale about three or four years ago.

And did you know what they were when you saw them in the yard sale?

I knew they were andirons, just the front half of them. The guy just had the front half. I bought them, and I asked him if he happened to have the back half, and he said that, yeah, he thought he did. If I could leave my number with him or come back later, he would see if he could find them. And he called me about an hour and a half later, and he had the other half-- the back half of them, so...

Then you saw that they were marked?

Yes, uh, when I got them home, I examined them a little closer and, yes, they were marked on the back, "Gustav Stickley." A friend of mine who knows a lot about antiques happened to be there when I took them out of my van and he seen them and told me that's what they were.

Well, that's exactly what they are. They're by Gustav Stickley, and he was the premier maker in the Arts and Crafts movement, which was active in America from the turn of the century until the First World War. He worked in upstate New York. He had a workshop called the Craftsman Workshop. He had a building in New York City, where he sold his furniture and metalwork. And at that time, he actually lived in New Jersey. He lived at a place called Craftsman Farms. He raised fruits and vegetables and animals. There was actually a restaurant in his building in New York and, you know, he supplied some of the produce and food for the restaurant. At the time, his work was very, very popular. It was sold all throughout the country. I just wanted to show the mark to everybody... It's very clearly marked over here, "Gustav Stickley," and it has a joiner's compass. It's an early mark; it's probably from about 1905. I see these are not the original bolts.

No, I have the original bolts at home, but I just didn't find them in time to bring them.

Oh, okay. They're really fantastic, and they have this wonderful little design here, and you have all the great hammering marks on the supports here. Now, you say you paid ten dollars for them?

Yes. That's not bad.

A retail price for this would be in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.

Oh, really? Oh, my gosh. That's fantastic.

Appraisal Details

Lillian Nassau LLC
New York, NY
Appraised value (2008)
$10,000 Retail$15,000 Retail
Palm Springs, CA (June 07, 2008)

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.