English Silver Spoon, ca. 1385

Value (2012) | $5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I've got a silver spoon that actually belongs to my mother. Just put it here. And she doesn't really know much about it. She doesn't even remember where she picked it up. Possibly an antique store or a show.

APPRAISER:
Well, have you any idea what it is?

GUEST:
I really don't. I was guessing maybe a sauce spoon or something.

APPRAISER:
And how old do you think it is?

GUEST:
I have no idea. I couldn't even guess.

APPRAISER:
Just a tiny little guess?

GUEST:
Late 1800s?

APPRAISER:
No, it's about 600 years old.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yeah, it dates from the 1380s, probably, or the 1390s. That was when Richard II was on the throne in England. It is, of course, English.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
It's very rare indeed. And I'd love to know where your mother found it. She probably would, too. The slight problem is, of course, the condition. It has been restored. The bowl is rather thin round here, and it has been cracked on both sides, here and here, and filled with silver solder. So it looks rather bright, because it's been polished up. And this little piece here, which is called a diamond point-- this in fact is known as a diamond point spoon-- would have been gilded. Now, they sold one of these in London about three or four years ago for a very large sum of money. But that had been found in the rafters of a house in wonderful condition.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
So I think that this one is probably worth somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
The one in London made $40,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
It's a wonderful, wonderful thing to have found.

GUEST:
Wow. Well, she'll be surprised.

APPRAISER:
I'll bet.

GUEST:
She's going to be stunned.

APPRAISER:
Well, I was stunned when I saw it, I can tell you.

GUEST:
And I'm not going to tell her. I'm going to make her watch the show.

APPRAISER:
Good.

Appraisal Details

Update (2012)
$5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Appraised value (1997)
$10,000 Auction$20,000 Auction
Event
San Francisco, CA (August 09, 1997)
Period
14th Century
Form
Spoon
Material
Silver

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.