1893 Fred Ege Carved Oak Chair
It belongs to my husband, but it was carved by his great-grandfather, who was from Germany, born in 1855, and came to the United States when he was 26.
And his name?
Was Fred Ege, E-G-E. When he came to the United States he was in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and after that he moved to Colorado Springs. This traveled with him to Colorado Springs. There's also another one very similar to this that we have in our family room. We still use them.
Okay. He did very large pieces. They were done mainly for famous people in Colorado Springs. He did make some incredible furniture for some very famous and very wealthy people in the late 19th century. Now, the form is a Moravian form of a plank seat with a plank back, fairly simple design, with this scrolled, Baroque-inspired base. We have these scrolls that come right out of Dutch furniture, German furniture, acanthus leaves, they go all the way up. A beautiful shaped, sort of almost balloon-shaped seat, leafage that goes up and continues almost as if it's really alive. This is oak. Oak is like carving marble, it's extremely dense. So it would've taken incredible effort to make a chair like this in oak.
Oh, that's interesting.
And the crispness of the leafage. If we look at the top, you can almost cut your fingers against.
Oh, I see.
It's just unbelievable. Now, as you know well, this says, "Columbian." This chair was exhibited in the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
In 1893. So he must've been well-known enough to have been able to be included in the Chicago Exposition. And that Chicago Exposition was famous because almost 30 million people attended from over 40 countries at the time. I just love the fact you've kept the finish original. Given the fact that this is a Columbian Exposition piece and the fact that it's so rare, and the quality of the carving, I would put a range on this at auction of $2,000 to $4,000. An auction estimate.
Really? (chuckles) That's wonderful!
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.