Lenticular Advertising Sign, ca. 1920

Value (2009) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction

A.M. Kimball & Son is a general store that was in my hometown growing up. It is no longer in business, but they had several buildings behind the general store that was used for many different things, like lumber and selling seeds. And they had an icehouse. And those buildings behind the general store were bought by my parents. And when they bought it, they were able to get all the contents, and this is where that sign came from.

Well, a general store back in the day, at the turn of the century, sold all kinds of things. And this is a wonderful advertising sign that advertises Wrigley's chewing gum and Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum at the same time, as well as the Kimball store. These signs are called lenticulars. What's great about Wrigley's is it is a hundred-year-old company that sold baking powder. And in order to induce people to buy more baking powder, they gave away a free stick of gum. And guess what, a new business was made: Wrigley's chewing gum. I would date this probably about 1915, 1920. Now, advertising was fiercely competitive, even back in the turn of the century. And they tried to make advertising tin signs that were bigger and better and more beautiful, and it really draws you in. And this would be really appealing to an advertising collector. In a good advertising auction, this would bring between $3,000 and $5,000.

Wow, that's fantastic.

Appraisal Details

Heritage Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2009)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Madison, WI (July 11, 2009)
November 14, 2011: We contacted appraiser Kathleen Guzman for an updated appraisal of this object in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000 (Unchanged)

Guzman notes, "No change in price. The market for advertising collectibles has become softer and prices have generally declined, but this is still a strong example, and rare."

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.