American Aesthetic Movement Oak Dining Table, ca. 1880

Value (2011) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction

It's a table that was in our home when we bought it in about 1974. The table had been in the home at least, I would say, since 1910. The people we bought it from told us that they'd bought it from the Hamm's Beer family, and that it had been there when they bought the place. It's believed to be from the Hill family.

The Hamm family, of course, is a very prominent brewing family. And Hill was an industrialist, a railroad baron, that was one of the richer men in America. The Hill mansion still exists, very large home, finished in 1891. This is 73 inches in diameter, and it extends a great deal. Do you have the leaves to it?

I do not.

Do you know how far it extends, by any chance?

About 18 or 19 feet.

Yeah. Which would support the fact that this was made for a large custom house. There's a couple of details on the bottom of this that I'd like to point out. First, on this base you can see the front of the leg, which is mounted with these two cats. The backside maintains the same motif. Both the front panel and the back panel are carved, meaning that they were intended to be viewed as an addition to this center leg. The piece is an American-made piece. It's in the American Aesthetic Movement style. They didn't want a table just to serve the function of a table, but they wanted it to be a work of art in itself. So when we consider the facts, could this have been made for the Hill house, some things stand out-- the size, the quality. It's a little bit early for that house. This dates from around 1875 to 1885.


Then I went online and I happened to look at some photographs. The interior of that house does not match the style of this table. The dining room in that house was done in mahogany. This table's done in oak. So I think that, based on those elements, we could conclude that it's not very likely that that's where it originated from. Not to diminish the fact that it was an expensive piece. It's not a production piece of furniture. This is a custom-made piece of furniture and would have been very expensive in its day. The market today is a little bit soft for such things, and while it's a rare thing, a rare table, not easy to find this quality in a dining room table, I think the current value at auction would be $3,000 to $5,000.

Mm-hmm. You said $3,000 to $5,000?

Correct. I think if we had the original leaves you could add another $1,000, maybe $1,500 for them.

Wow. Well, my children will be excited. They'll know what... they have a value on their heirloom.


Now one of them has to get a big enough house so it can fit in it.

Appraisal Details

Sacramento, CA
Appraised value (2011)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Minneapolis, MN (July 09, 2011)

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.