Spanish Colonial Sideboard, ca. 1920
Unfortunately, we know very little about it. It's been in the family for so long, the history's kind of gotten lost with it. The story we were always told is that it was hand-carved by a carpenter who worked for the University of California in Berkeley. And my great-great-great-grandmother won it for a dollar in the raffle.
Pretty good buy.
That's about all we know.
Okay. Well, I think that's consistent with what the piece tells us. First of all, it represents the California missions, which are the oldest structures in California and the most visited California monuments today.
There were originally 21 of them established by Spanish priests, and they strung from San Diego all the way up to Sonoma, California. This piece stylistically would date from about 1920, and I think the University of California at Berkeley was finished right about 1910, something like that, so that makes some sense. The primary wood is mahogany.
Oh, it is!
Also, it incorporates redwood in the secondary woods, which we can see in the interior everywhere, but if you look at this drawer here, you can see that this is clearly California native redwood. It's not a cabinetmaker's piece, but rather a carpenter's piece. Traditionally we would find dovetails on the drawer fronts from a cabinetmaker. Here we just have them nailed. And if you can see, this is where he carved these fronts on all of these mission scenes and just applied them to the drawer fronts.
Oh... that's how it was done.
But it is all hand-carved and very decorative, in my opinion, and it's... you know, there's a lot of flash for the cash here. There's been a lot of banter back and forth between our colleagues and appraisers here trying to determine a value of it, and it's difficult, because it's one of one, so it's kind of an arbitrary figure we throw out. And we've had opinions as high as $10,000 and as low as $2,000. In my opinion, from an auction estimate standpoint, I think I would appraise it probably at $3,000 to $5,000. But realize that there is some upward potential to the right buyer.
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.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love