Eugene Kupjack Miniature Room
This was purchased about 40 years ago by my husband's aunt and it was given to me. And she had lived in Richmond at the time and then had gone to Williamsburg for the day and was shopping. And evidently, this was on a center table that was highlighted and stuff, and she fell in love with it. And it took her a while to convince her husband to purchase it, but they did buy it and she's had it for the 40 years. But there's no receipt or information about it, so we'd love to learn more.
What more have you discovered about it? Everybody gets out on the Internet these days and does a little research. What have you found?
Well, the name is on here. And I found that the gentleman is no longer living, but his sons have carried on the tradition. And from what I understand, they would do a room and that would not be duplicated.
Well, these are really interesting. You look at this and it's a relatively modern construction box. We know it's not terribly old. And we see on the lower left corner a signature, E.J. Kupjack, for Eugene Kupjack. This fascinates a lot of us in the trade. Now, if you look at the craftsmanship, it's absolutely amazing.
Well, she fell in love with it, yeah.
The table, the fireplace. So, Eugene Kupjack operated in the late 1930s. He was hired by the Thorne family, which were the heirs to the original Montgomery Ward. And the wife had designed some rooms for Mr. Kupjack and he created those. And those are on display at the Art Institute of Chicago today. And you're right, his sons do still make them. So Eugene Kupjack was born in 1912 and as you found on the Internet, he died in 1991. He was actively working as of the late '30s, where he did those rooms for the Thorne family. And everything was produced, really, after that. So I think it's reasonable to expect it was completed in the 1950s.
We see the package and at first glance, some of us thought it was a microwave. But really, it's a miniature meant to sit on a bookshelf, and it would have blended in. You can see the artist has actually put the book on the end. Now, the other thing that's absolutely fascinating is, we see this new stuff, we don't think it's going to be valuable. It doesn't make sense to us. Yet when these come up at auction, they're selling for a good bit of money. So if I were to estimate this at auction today-- and I think we're conservative-- we would say between $5,000 and $7,000.
To have one made, a new one, can cost over $100,000.
Oh, my Lord.
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.
Walt Disney | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Coming to American Experience September 14 & 15 is the unprecedented look at the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s best-known storytellers – Walt Disney
Arthur & George
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part MASTERPIECE Mystery! adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes. Airs Sundays, September 6-20