19th-Century French Figural Clocks
I brought two clocks, and the matching vases for the pink one, and I bought them at an estate sale here in Charleston, and I think I paid $500 for the group together.
Okay, and why did you happen to select these clocks?
Well, I... was drawn to the pink ones, of course, because I love pink. I just thought they were beautiful and unique.
The two clocks are somewhat similar. They're both of French origin, and they represent about 30 or 40 years difference in when they were actually made. And one sort of transitions to the other. The earliest one is the one that has the dome on top of it. Louis-Philippe period, probably made about 1850 or so. And during that time period, there was a real craze to put domes over clocks. And it's amazing that the dome on that clock has still survived. 99% of the clocks that we see at the ROADSHOW, the dome's often been long lost. And to have that dome is really important to the overall value of the clock. It also has protected the clock. You'll notice how bright the coloring of the bronze or the gilt wash over it has remained, and that's really unusual. This clock not being under the dome, you can see how much more dull the color is. That does have a porcelain dial, it does have a French movement, it's French origin, and the stone on it is an aggregate, probably an onyx of some kind. And that onyx with the dome is really a very nice combination. It lets a lot of light in, the onyx sort of reflects the light back again, very attractive clock. This clock here, it has hand-painted panels, and it's unusual that you still have the two original ewers. Very nicely decorated, very good quality, again French origin, but this one was probably made closer to 1880 or 1890. So two different time periods, you can see how the styles have somewhat changed. But the construction of the clocks is very, very similar, where they have this metal frame that sort of holds the decorations in place. Terms of value, you said you paid $500 for both of them, and how long ago was that?
I would say that's been maybe eight or nine years.
Well, we know in 2007, the world changed for the clock worlds. A lot of clocks had lost value significantly, and these clocks probably did a little of that as well, but they're certainly on their way back up again. The upper clock... That clock today if you were to find that in a finer shop, it would easily be priced at $2,500. This clock down here, as a clock set, the clock itself and the two ewers, the value would be around $1,800. So for a $500 investment, you did very, very well.
That's great. Thank you.
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.