1939 Folk Art Blacksmith Shop Diorama
Depicted here at the anvil is my great-great-grandfather, Nathan Spratt. This entire diorama is a representation of his blacksmith shop. It was built by his father in 1866.
And where was it located?
This was built in Richwood, Ohio. This diorama was made by a local jeweler in Richwood, Ohio, by the name of Mr. Adams.
This is your grandfather at the anvil, and how long did he work as a blacksmith?
He started at approximately 12 years of age, which would have been about 1863. He worked all the way until 1942, almost 80 years as a blacksmith.
It's just a wonderful depiction of what a blacksmith's shop would look like. Talk to me about the Liars' Bench.
My grandfather was an avid racehorse race man. He raced across Ohio, in the Midwest, and depicted here are two of his fellow cohorts in the race industry, Mr. Sparks and Mr. Shimmer. They would gather from around the central part of Ohio to basically tell tall tales and stories. And it became the public meeting place of the racehorse people.
Everything centered around the center of town, whether it was the blacksmith's shop, the drugstore, the local restaurant. This is truly a great piece of American heritage, but it's also a great piece of folk art. If this was on the market at an antiques show, I could see dealers asking anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for this piece.
(laughs) Wow. That I didn't expect.
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.
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