Folk Marquetry Games Table, ca. 1925

Value (2009) | $6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail

GUEST:
I was in Denver, visiting my daughter and her family. My son-in-law likes to go out and find things at garage sales and estate sales, and he was showing me some items that he had purchased, this table being one of them, and I was particularly interested in this table because of the detail and the uniqueness of it. He agreed to sell it to me. He needed the money. (laughs)

APPRAISER:
Okay. That's always a good reason to sell. Now, did you dicker with him at all?

GUEST:
I tried dickering with him. He didn't want to part with it very bad, but he finally agreed to, and as best I can recollect, he paid $100 to $150.

APPRAISER:
And you gave him how much?

GUEST:
I gave him $500.

APPRAISER:
So he took a profit when you gave him $500.

GUEST:
He took a profit, yes.

APPRAISER:
In every season and almost every city, we will see at least a half-dozen if not a dozen what we call folk marquetry and parquetry tables. And they say, "My grandfather did this. He spent 5,000 hours." And I always say, it's not about how many hours it took you; it's not about how hard you worked; it's not about how many different woods you use. It's about, did it work? And when it's all over, does somebody look at that and go, "Wow!"? Guess what? Wow! This is hands down the best piece of folk marquetry I've ever seen in all the years of doing Roadshow. First off, we have this very simple checkerboard/chessboard. In each of the corners, we have parquetry, which is geometric examples of inlaid wood.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, we have on the top the marquetry, which is pictorial depictions. We've got horse racing, basketball, ice skating, golf, chess or checkers, archery, track and field, polo, more track and field, shot put, boxing, high jumping. Now, if we go down to this lower level here, we've got three on each side. We've got dancing, fencing, track and field again, hunting... and I love this-- canoeing. Then we've got fishing, skiing, football, tennis... One more time. Sailing, hockey and billiards. But I want to save the best for last. We've got baseball on a full diamond. What makes it a great table is the combination of all the elements. In the phrase of one of the great furniture historians, he said, "It dances." Everything about it moves. Everything about it just says the joy of sport and his pleasure in making it. If I saw this at a top-end folk art show, I would expect them to be asking, retail, about $6,000 to $8,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Absolutely.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh! I would have never believed that! Oh, that's wonderful. (chuckling)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
J. M. Flanigan American Antiques
Baltimore, MD
Appraised value (2009)
$6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail
Event
Phoenix, AZ (August 01, 2009)
Period
20th Century
Form
Table
Material
Wood

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.