1878 Daniel Huntington Portraits with Original Frames

Value (2009) | $29,000 Auction$41,000 Auction

GUEST:
I lived with them all my life, and the little one over there is my dad. The lady is my grandmother, and this is my great-grandmother. I know the painter was David Huntington.

APPRAISER:
The artist is Daniel Huntington. He was an American artist born in 1816, died in 1906. Primarily worked in New York City, although he did work in Europe. Daniel Huntington basically was known as a portrait artist. The vast majority of his works are portraits. He was a member of the National Academy, and very well respected in his time. These are studio portraits, and they're very lavishly staged with what appears to be quilts or Oriental rugs, and very, very nice furniture. Now, they're also dated 1878, so they were done presumably right at the same time. Your dad was a beautiful child, and he's about three years old there?

GUEST:
That's my guess.

APPRAISER:
Okay. So this one, of course, is gorgeous. And then the grandmother is a very handsome woman, but realistically maybe not quite as valuable on the open market. They're very nicely framed. These appear to be the original frames. They could benefit from a cleaning. A lot of this would brighten up. Have you had these appraised in the past?

GUEST:
I think we had them appraised when we had an appraisal for insuring all the things we had in the house.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
And I think they were at $500 apiece.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
And that was in the early '70s or thereabouts.

APPRAISER:
An auction estimate on the single would be $4,000 to $6,000. This one, however, would have a little bigger impact in the market because of the beauty and charm. I think I'd go with $25,000 to $35,000 for this one alone.

GUEST:
The difference... that much difference between the two?

APPRAISER:
Oh, yeah, a great deal of difference.

GUEST:
I'm floored.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
EnservioSelect
Easthampton, MA
Appraised value (2009)
$29,000 Auction$41,000 Auction
Event
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)
Period
19th Century
Form
Frame, Portrait

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.