Gebruder Heubach Cats, ca. 1910

Value (2013) | $7,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
I inherited them. They were either my mother's or my grandmother's. My mother told me they were her mother's. But I lost my mother when I was 12, so you don't really remember the stories clearly. And at 12, you don't pay much attention to things that are in the house-- they're not important. But they've been in a box and I just absolutely adore them.

APPRAISER:
Okay, and where do you have them now? How do you store them?

GUEST:
Well, I have to admit, they're stored just in a shoebox. Mostly because I wanted to decorate my daughter's bedroom with them, but she found the grin a little intimidating. And I have to admit that I found it that same way when I was a child, so I understood it.

APPRAISER:
What exactly was her words? "

GUEST:
A little freakish."

APPRAISER:
"A little freakish." Your little kittens were made by a German firm called Gebruder Heubach. And they were made around 1910.

GUEST:
Oh, grandmother's.

APPRAISER:
So that would fit with your grandmother's time.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
They each are around six and a half inches tall. And you do have all three. Their heads are made of bisque, and their bodies are made of papier-mâché. They even have on their original little ensembles, a little cotton playsuit.

GUEST:
A lot of detail in it.

APPRAISER:
A lot of detail. They're just in really great, vibrant condition. The shoes don't have little nicks on them. When you started unrolling them out of your towel, I almost let out a scream because I never, hardly ever, never see them.

GUEST:
I'm so surprised.

APPRAISER:
And then to see three all together was just such a perfect joy.

GUEST:
Are they called the three little kittens that lost their mittens?

APPRAISER:
No.

GUEST:
My mother always said that's what they were.

APPRAISER:
No, they're just little cats that Heubach made. They also made a little bear. Everything about Heubach, just all the little extra detailing to the facial features just gives them so much personality. In a retail doll shop, the one gray cat would be worth $2,300. And I have seen him before.

GUEST:
Oh, no. Really?

APPRAISER:
Yes. The little white cat is also valued at $2,300, and sometimes I think I have seen him go a little bit higher.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
And then, oh, my goodness, this heartbreaker here. This is the little black one. I've never seen the black one. He does have a little bit of damage to his ear, so I had to keep his value around $2,300 also, even with the damage. So as a set, they're worth about $7,000.

GUEST:
I don't know what to say to that. That's amazing.

APPRAISER:
Are they still freakish to you?

GUEST:
Well, yes, actually. Maybe they're even a little more freakish since I wasn't expecting that at all.

APPRAISER:
And if this little guy didn't have the little bit of damage, I would probably put him a little bit higher for the set, around $8,000 or even more.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
You never see him.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Ashley's Dolls & Antiques
Whitsett, NC
Appraised value (2013)
$7,000 Retail
Event
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)
Period
20th Century

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