E. Howard Watch & Gold Quartz Chain
Well, my husband is the third-generation recipient of this watch. His great-grandfather was a miner that came over here from England. He settled in the Black Hills in the 1800s and was the supervisor of several gold mines. He was quite heroic in a lot of recoveries of miners. He was given this watch on a presentation basis.
This really is a watch that a gold miner would have had. It's a beautiful pocket watch. It's American. It was made by a company in Boston called E. Howard and Company, who was active in the late 19th century. They made this particular model of watch probably around 1890. But what makes it really interesting is the chain and the decoration on the case. The chain and the fob are made out of gold quartz. Watch chains like this are very desirable. They were very popular after the Gold Rush. You'd see them in areas like the Klondike, as well as near the Homestake Mine. You'd see them in California. Now, the watch is what we call a box-hinge hunting case watch. Typical American form with this extra metal at the top and the bottom to give it extra weight. And in the center of the watch, you'll see that there is multicolored gold decoration, plus a diamond. This was basically the highest grade case that you could buy, and as a presentation watch, which this was, whoever presented it to your ancestor was really very, very generous. Furthermore, it's a Howard watch. Now, Howard was one of the founders of the American watch industry, and they felt, and most collectors today feel, that they made the best American watches in the 19th century. Now, have you ever had this watch appraised or asked anybody about it?
We had it appraised a year ago, and they offered my husband $2,500 for it. And when we went in a few weeks later, they upped it to $5,000. But it is to stay in the family.
It's in absolutely pristine condition. It's had a history. We know who it was made for. It has a local history here in South Dakota. The Homestake Mine is well known around the world. And when you add all that together, this is probably something that you should insure for perhaps maybe $15,000 to $20,000.
Simply because it's one of the nicest gold quartz chains and multicolor box-hinge hunter case watches we've ever seen. It's a lovely watch.
Well, it's like Christmas in July with me.
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.