The last year the Braves were in Milwaukee, my dad took me to a few games. And after one of the games, I was standing on the dugout. And the batboy came out and yelled at me for being on the dugout, so I hopped off the dugout. And then he came back out and gave me Hank Aaron's broken bat, which he had used during the game. After the game, we got it signed. And as you can see here, we have a very faint signature, and then we have a much darker signature. APPRASIER: Where did you get that?
About 15 years after that, in 1978, the American Legion team from my hometown made it to the American Legion World Series. And one of the players on that team won the batting championship. Hank Aaron came to present the batting award, and when he was in town I had him sign my bat a second time. APPRASIER: This is a beautiful, picture-perfect, mid-1960s Hank Aaron game-used bat. And it's been cracked. This was used in a game. You can see the ball marks here, a real powerful hitter here. And what's also cool, you have his number, 44, and the serial number here on the knob. It's a beautiful, beautiful bat. And I wouldn't insure it for anything less than $8,000.
(chuckles) $8,000?! How about that?
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.