Mark Catesby “Wood Stork” Print, ca. 1735
My husband's godfather gave this to him many years ago, and he told my husband that it was a Wilson original print. And that's all I know about it.
This actually was not done by Wilson. You're probably thinking of Alexander Wilson, who was known as the father of American ornithology. And Wilson started publishing his pictures of birds in the early 1800s. This was much earlier. This is by a man named Mark Catesby.
Who was probably the first ornithologist to do pictures of birds in North America. In the 1720s, Mark Catesby went down to the Carolinas. He went to present-day Georgia, Florida, the Bahama Islands, and did these various works. Mark Catesby went back to England, taught himself engraving, took his drawings and started producing numerous copies of these. The idea was to have a book. And he did a whole series of birds as well as turtles and snakes and so on. If you'll notice right here, you've got this description here and it says "The Wood Pelican." Well, modern ornithology has realized that this particular bird is a stork. He produced these between 1731 and 1743. So it was a long period of time, because it was difficult to engrave a plate and then print them and then they had to be hand colored. But one of the things he does here... Notice that you've got a large outline of the bird's skull.
In this case, Catesby did something that ornithologists always wanted to do, was to show the birds to the full scale. And this was a way of showing the size of the bird's head, and therefore you could figure from there...
How large the body is.
Exactly. There were three different editions of Catesby's prints. We don't really know exactly what edition this is. You'd have to take it out of the frame and hold the paper up to the light. It's got some condition problems. I think a fair market value in a retail shop would be $2,400.
Wow, I had no idea.
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.