Folk Art Carved Panel, ca. 1900

Value (2014) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I got it from my grandfather through my mother. My grandfather supposedly had brought this from Sweden when he came over to this country.

APPRAISER:
When was that?

GUEST:
Well, he was born in 1877 and emigrated at age 19 to Canada, and then down to DeKalb, Illinois.

APPRAISER:
Was he known as a wood carver?

GUEST:
No, not at all. I believe he probably brought this with him.

APPRAISER:
I would question whether or not it actually came from Sweden, just because it has these two American flags flying...

GUEST:
I noticed those.

APPRAISER:
...broadly on that building. I wonder whether or not this is more of an allegorical story of his travel from a town in Sweden to America. And if you look along here, you can see that these buildings on the horizon here are not American buildings, but rather more of a European-looking city. You've got this great body of water, and then you get down to the scene in this town, these wonderful formal buildings, and it's relief carved, which means that this is one piece of wood, and they carve back to get this three-dimensional quality. Let's look at what this is made from, and I'm going to flip it around quickly. It's a piece of found wood, and it is probably just a piece of birch, and I believe it is the backboard of a chest of drawers. You can see there's chamfering on your side here, and chamfering on my side, but not on the tops and bottoms. So it would have fitted into the side panel, birch an American wood. And then while this is showing from this side, let's look at this other very whimsical thing that he's done by inlaying pieces of colored glass, which of course are going to show through the windows in the buildings on the other side. There's a few pieces missing here obviously, so with a light behind it, you'd get some really very lovely effects. What has happened to this side of this panel?

GUEST:
Well, I believe my mother had an art student attempt to restore it, and they got that far. I don't think it's done professionally.

APPRAISER:
Right, well, actually, I'm sort of pleased that we get to see this color coming through here, because if you check the difference between this panel, which has been cleaned clearly, and then the rest of it, you see there is a muddy quality to most of the panel because it was varnished, and that varnish oxidized and turned dark. But here, the varnish has been removed, and honestly, nine times out of ten on the ROADSHOW, I will say, "Don't touch things," but I think this is actually a very good job. They've taken this paint back to a dry, dry surface, which is what folk art collectors look for when they're looking for original paint. Look at how bright and lovely the color is on this side compared to... and especially in the dog. You can see his bright, bright white body, and brown ears, and on this side of the tree, as he's running through, he's a little dull on that other side.

GUEST:
Certainly is.

APPRAISER:
Well, I think for auction purposes, we would probably estimate it in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.

GUEST:
Oh, very nice. That's very good.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2014)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Event
Chicago, IL (July 26, 2014)
Form
Panel

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.