Abdur Rahman Chughtai “Rashmiri Woodcutter” Etching, ca. 1930

Value (2011) | $7,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
It was in a small bookstore on the mall in Lahore, and I loved it and I didn't buy it the first time I saw it, and then I couldn't get it out of my mind and went back. We were teaching at the Lahore American School, and so we didn't have a lot of money, but I decided I was going to buy it anyway and I did. And I've loved it ever since.

APPRAISER:
What year was this?

GUEST:
We went to Lahore in 1968 and left in 1970.

APPRAISER:
And were you familiar with the artist at all before you saw the work?

GUEST:
No, I had never heard of him. I learned later that he is fairly well known.

APPRAISER:
Yes, Abdur Rahman Chughtai is one of Pakistan's most celebrated artists. He was born just before the turn of the 19th century and died in about 1975. He's known for these very dense lines here that are beautifully curly and densely packed. They sort of bring to mind the style of the art nouveau artists like Aubrey Beardsley, artists that may be Westerners might be more familiar with, and that type of line was very popular at the turn of the century in India and Europe both.

GUEST:
It is an etching, isn't it?

APPRAISER:
Yes, it's a drypoint etching. The artist is really well known for celebrating the daily life of average, ordinary people as well as celebrating the beauty of the female form. He lived in Pakistan when it was still a British colonial area, and he saw, over the course, of its lifetime, it change in politics and religion and a lot of his art speaks to that. So in the present work here, what we see is the Kashmiri woodcutter, a very common sight in Kashmir, as you probably know from when you were there.

GUEST:
We saw that.

APPRAISER:
You have this main figure in the foreground here, hunched over with his bag of sticks. He's wearing a typical robe dress of the period. He's hunched over due to the weight of his materials. Receding in the background you've got at least two more figures who are retreating into the beautiful design of the imagery. It's quite lovely. The print was most likely made between the 1950s and the 1970s. I'm guessing by the style of the printing and the imagery, but it's clearly looking to that 1920s style. There are not too many auction records for something like this until quite recently. When India and Pakistan and those countries underwent major economic changes in the early '90s, a lot of artists from those areas suddenly found a booming market, because there was a lot more money in these countries, so the auction houses saw a huge surge in prices and demand for artists from India and Pakistan both. So you don't have any idea of the value of it now?

GUEST:
None at all. I know how much I paid for it.

APPRAISER:
Tell me how much you paid for it.

GUEST:
I'm pretty sure it was 100 rupees at the time, which would have been around ten dollars, give or take.

APPRAISER:
I think that was a pretty good investment. I would estimate an auction estimate right now between probably $7,000 and $10,000.

GUEST:
Really? Oh... oh, my goodness! That's fun. Oh, that's exciting. What a treat! My husband is going to be so excited.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2011)
$7,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Event
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
Period
20th Century
Form
Etching
Material
Paper
July 02, 2012: During this segment, appraiser Anne Henry misspoke when she said that Pakistani artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai, who died in 1975, was born "just before the turn of the 19th century." Chughtai was born in 1897, just before the turn of the 20th century.

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.