Crandall Hobby Horse, ca. 1880

Value (2012) | $1,600 Auction$2,000 Auction

It's been in my family on my mother's side. It was my great-grandfather's when he was little. And it was in my aunt's garage, and she just asked me if I wanted it, and I said, "Sure," and it's been sitting in my living room ever since.

Well, now, you played with this?

I did, but mostly my mother and her brother rode on it when they were little. My children grew up riding on it. We decorate it for Christmas every year.


Looks great with reindeer antlers.

Well, he's a real charmer. In 1861, a man by the name of Jesse Crandall, who is one of the great toymakers, particularly of riding toys for children, patented this design...


...with this spring mechanism. I think his company was in New York City, and Crandall started making this in the 1860s, probably stopped in the 1880s, 1890s. But it was a radical departure, because most rocking horses were on rockers like this and rocked back and forth. It has this monstrous, heavy-duty spring. I mean, I can actually ride this. It will hold a lot of, uh, avoirdupois. But it is quite an amazing thing, and on this beautiful painted base. Now, obviously, he's been through a lot of hard times. But he still has an amazing presence, even though the paint is worn. Just beautiful, flowing lines. Great survivor. And the last one of these I heard selling at auction had repaired legs and some other issues, sold for $1,600. I think this one would be easily in that range and maybe as much as $2,000 at auction. Just stunning. Think I could ride it?


Let me see if I can give it a shot. See? There we go. I mean, if it holds me, it could hold anything.

Appraisal Details

Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, PA
Update (2012)
$1,600 Auction$2,000 Auction
Appraised value (2009)
$1,600 Auction$2,000 Auction
Raleigh, NC (June 27, 2009)
December 17, 2012: We contacted appraiser Noel Barrett for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $1,600 - $2,000 (Unchanged)

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.