Folk Art Carved Hat Rack, ca. 1900

Value (2013) | $3,000 Retail$4,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
This is the beginnings of my collection. A lot of people call it hoarding. But over the years I think I've started to prove them wrong. I'm a Richmond local native. I'm not a come-here, so I know all the places to go to find unusual weirdness. Well, I was at the Bellwood Flea Market, right up the street, just gotten out of college.

APPRAISER:
So give me a year.

GUEST:
Probably 1974.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
A long time ago. I was walking down the aisle and this thing caught my eye, and I said, "What in the heck could this be?" I gave the guy, I think, $20-$25 for it, and then I took it home. And I put it on the dining room table, which was greatly frowned on in the early years by my family and my wife and everybody. So it made its way up into the attic. Then I put it in a place of prominence where I could watch it. Don't look in the eyes until we find out what it is. Don't look in those eyes, okay? But I think it might be some Louisiana Voodoo stuff. It served its purpose, so everybody knows that I'm a collector, not a hoarder. You know?

APPRAISER:
Okay, that's great.

GUEST:
And that's the one thing it's done for me.

APPRAISER:
I think the piece is wonderful. Folk art is a category that has material that's very serious, that's very historic. And I love the category of folk art because it's very inclusive. So it finds a place for all these orphan pieces, where there's no body of work, we have no idea who made this. And a person like you finds the piece, and over the years kind of a storyline is created about the particular piece.

GUEST:
It's part of my loose screw.

APPRAISER:
And you say it's a Voodoo piece. It's really a well-made and well-proportioned hat rack.

GUEST:
I have horn hat racks at home, but I never thought it would be a hat rack. I just went right over it.

APPRAISER:
You just went past it because of this almost mountain lion figure that's carved there. That is all-original varnished surface, and it's all grimy and gritty, and it's like the day you found it.

GUEST:
And now you can look in the eyes.

APPRAISER:
And now you can look in the eyes.

GUEST:
So other than a hat rack, it's whatever you want it to be.

APPRAISER:
It's whatever you want it to be. And that's what's wonderful about folk art. It dates late 19th into the early 20th century. It's horned, it's beautifully made. It had metal tips on the edges of the horn. And one is missing over here. And you can see there is condition issues with this cowhide. But it's all about the macro here. It's about the total picture. We value it in its entirety. So the top section is carved wood. Probably a pine or a maple. And the carving is extraordinary, including this wonderful looped bowtie.

GUEST:
I think it's cherry wood.

APPRAISER:
It could be cherry wood. This is a type of piece that could have been made probably in the Midwest, probably in the South. It's always difficult to date and to tell exactly where a piece like this was made, other than saying, certifiably, it's American. I would put a retail value on it of $3,000 to $4,000.

GUEST:
Almost 25% of a college tuition. Can we get it up some? (chuckles) It was a good pick.

APPRAISER:
It was a great pick.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Allan Katz Americana
Woodbridge, CT
Appraised value (2013)
$3,000 Retail$4,000 Retail
Event
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)
Form
Carving
Material
Animal hide, Horn, Wood

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.