House of David Postcards, ca. 1915
When I first started dating my fiancée, I started speaking to her mom and her mom was a great historian. She knew I was interested in history. They had this collection of postcards in an attic, and she dropped them in my lap, and I've been going through them for the last three years trying to make some sense out of them.
These are from the House of David, which was a commune established in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 1907. They were an unusual group. They were banned from shaving, cutting their hair, having sex, or eating meat.
But they also had a hell of a baseball team. They would barnstorm all around the Midwest in the '20s and '30s, playing and beating most of the local teams. There are very avid collectors of House of David objects, especially those showing the team. In a retail setting, I think you're probably looking at $100 each...
...for these photographs, yeah. They're amazing.
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.
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