14K Gold Vanity Sets, ca. 1905
They were my great grandparents'. I have my great grandmother's dresser set, and my great grandfather's. And they're 14-carat gold. They moved in their house in 1905, so I would assume that it's 1905.
They are a gentleman's dresser set and a lady's dresser set, and there's two companies involved here. The gentleman's set was made by William Kerr Company up in the Newark, New Jersey area. And the other one is a Gorham Corporation out of Providence, Rhode Island. They're both 14-carat gold. They're not solid 14-carat gold. Some of the pieces of gold are quite thin. The bristles on the brushes are boar bristles. You've got some wonderful beveled mirrors. You've got some perfume decanters and some little vanity pins, a hair receiver, a powder container, and they have designs on them. They were carved with wheels. Now, the Gorham Company acquired the Kerr Company in about 1906. So I think your date is right on. We've got 28 pieces here. And we have a calculated weight of approximately 448 troy ounces. Now, a lot of people, when they have this type of thing, they're thinking, well it's the value of the gold, and why not just scrap it? How come you still have this?
I love it, it's a family treasure.
That's a wonderful thing. Because so many people would just scrap this. But the interesting thing is, these two companies produced very little inventory in gold. They're known for sterling silver. So what you have here is creme de la creme of toiletry sets. Do you have any idea what this might be worth?
I have no idea.
You want to sit down, or you want to stand up?
We appraised this-- I talked to my cohorts on the table. Between 15 and 20 thousand dollars.
Wow, okay. My!
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.