1896 Alphonse Mucha Poster
This is a poster that my grandmother bought when she was doing her Grand Tour in Europe after she graduated from college. And we think she bought it in Paris.
Do you know when she traveled to Europe?
I think it was in the '20s or '30s. We're not totally sure. I've heard of Mucha. I know that he's a painter. That's about all I know.
That's a great start. I'm going to take it from there. In fact, Mucha, who was born in Moravia, which is now the Czech Republic, moved to France at the end of the 19th century. And he is not best known as being a painter; he is best known for being a graphic designer. And in fact, he's most famous for his posters. And as a poster artist, his style that he created, this Art Nouveau style, really defined that era. This is a poster for an exhibition at the Salon des Cent. And the Salon des Cent is "The Salon of One Hundred." It was an artistic salon run by a man named Léon Deschamps, who was also famous for publishing a magazine called La Plume. Mucha desperately wanted to become a member of The One Hundred, and he designed this poster sort of as a way to ingratiate himself to the publisher and to the salon. And one year later, in 1897, the Salon des Cent and La Plume magazine dedicated an entire issue of the magazine and an entire one-man show to Mucha and his work. Now, Mucha's earliest poster is around 1893, 1894, so here in 1896, it really is the first sort of expression of his style that will become so famous.
Any idea what the piece is worth?
I have no clue.
I will tell you that when I saw you walk down the line today with this piece, I was almost positive that you had a dorm room reproduction because that's what we usually see. This image is so popular with its beauty and the spaghetti hair that it's reproduced quite frequently. At auction, I would estimate this poster between $8,000 and $12,000.
Wow. I'm so, like, surprised and shocked at the moment.
Good, that's great.
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.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love