Appraiser Interview: 1871-1872 Boston Red Stockings Archive

Value (2014) | $1,000,000 Insurance

When you look at memorabilia and you value it, you look at the historical importance of the players, of the team, of the era, of the event. You also look at rarity, you look at condition, you look at provenance, and this has it all. You've got one of the earliest known, you've got the earliest known professional team that came out of Cincinnati and went to the Red Sox. You've got your earliest pioneering Hall of Famers here, with Harry Wright, George Wright, and Albert Spalding. You've got provenance because they stayed in this boarding house and here are the notes they wrote to this woman's great great grandmother. And we have never seen this grouping of photographic baseball cards before. The earliest known cards were cabinet cards produced by Peck and Snyder in 1869, and they've been sold a few at a time over the last years. This has never been out. These group of cards have never been out, we've never seen an early set of notes like this, signed by these great Hall of Famers. It’s Boston, it's the roots of Boston baseball. Even though it's the Boston team that became the Braves and not the Red Sox, you're still talking about Boston's earliest professional team here. And, they were winners. They finished third 1871, but 1872 to '75, these guys were the pioneers of baseball. It was all I could do not to break down myself on camera, because, you know, for me, this is as good as it gets. Today was definitely one of the greatest moments in my ROADSHOW career.

Appraisal Details

Leila Dunbar Appraisals & Consulting, LLC
Washington, DC
Appraised value (2014)
$1,000,000 Insurance
New York, NY (August 09, 2014)

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.