Salesman’s Sample Range, ca. 1935
It was a small flea market in northwest New Jersey. I was late that day, and it was just sitting on a table.
What did you pay for it?
Well, that's a pretty good deal. I love salesman sample stoves. Most of the ones we see are from the early 19th century, the elaborate cast iron. They were coal burning or wood burning. One of the main things about a salesman sample: it needed to show all the mechanism. What is intriguing about this, I've never seen one from this era, which is, I'm guessing, late '30s and into the '40s. Hard to imagine that people used coal-burning stoves in the '40s, but out in the farmlands, that's what they used. And that's what this is: it's porcelainized, it's got cast-iron plates, just like the old stoves. Detail is amazing. It even has a working floo. All the doors open. Also, this mechanical aspect in the back, with the little dials, this regulates air into the burn chamber. All this is there to say this is how this works, and you just need this in your home. It's absolutely intriguing. This market is not what it was ten or 15 years ago, but I think even today, this would sell for around $2,000 to $4,000.
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.