Presidential Oyster Plates, ca. 1880
They're oyster plates, and I think they're from the Hayes administration. And they were given to me by my husband's stepmother. They were given probably to her from her mother, and her mother was from St. Louis, Missouri.
And how many do you have?
I have ten.
You have ten, but you only brought three of them to us today.
Okay, and do you have any clue what they might be worth?
Well, I've seen some other oyster plates that were worth about $20 to $100 apiece.
Well, let's talk about these plates for a second. On the back we see a variety of marks. One is the Haviland Company, and the Haviland Company is the company that did produce the plates. Another is a signature that says "Theo R. David," who was the designer of these particular plates. We also see an eagle mark. And what these plates are, they are copies of the plates that were used in the White House under Rutherford B. Hayes.
So the Haviland Company spent a lot of money developing and creating this pattern. After that took place, the Haviland Company made plates for commercial consumption. Okay, they made these and took them out to the market. And they are highly collectible. There's a whole set of this china, and of this set, the oyster plates are the most common piece that comes out of that set. It is fairly rare to find a set as large as ten pieces. Often times, the collectors of oyster plates don't need to have a whole set, so we're not necessarily going to ascribe a higher level of value to them. So you saw a similar plate in an antique store for $2,200. That actually is very plausible. The last set that did sell at auction sold for $2,300 to $2,400 per plate. So auction estimates today, we would anticipate them selling for between $4,000 and $6,000 for the three, and between $15,000 and $25,000 for all ten.
I appreciate that.
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.
Walt Disney | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Coming to American Experience September 14 & 15 is the unprecedented look at the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s best-known storytellers – Walt Disney
Arthur & George
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part MASTERPIECE Mystery! adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes. Airs Sundays, September 6-20