When my parents moved, we were cleaning out the basement, and Mom said, "This is an old mug. Why don't you take that with you?" And I said, "Oh, I don't know, but okay." So I threw it in a box, didn't wrap it or anything, and it ended up in my attic until I saw a picture in a magazine and I thought, "That looks a little familiar."
And what did the magazine call it?
It called it a mochaware mug.
Well, it is indeed a mochaware mug. Mochaware was made in England in the early to mid 19th century. It was virtually never marked. It was certainly sold in England, but it was also shipped to the United States as well, where it was bought by people of modest means. They made lots of pitchers and mugs and utilitarian-type things. And it was usually decorated similar to this, with very bright colors. Some pieces are much, much more valuable based on the decoration, and this is a decoration, this middle band, that we have never seen before. We believe that, at auction, this would probably bring in the $1,200 to $1,800 range.
Oh, my goodness!
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.