1927 Erik Magnussen Original Drawing
This is drawn by Erik Magnussen, who was my grandmother's first husband. He designed this for Gorham silver.
Erik was brought over from Denmark because he was already a world renowned silver designer, by Gorham in 1925 for just a brief period, 1925 to 1929. And he designed this coffee service called the "Cubic coffee set" in 1927, based on the Cubist motifs that Picasso and Braque were evoking in their French cubist paintings. This is the artist rendering before, presumably, the coffee set was made. The coffee set was made. It was heralded by The New York Times as being the lights and the beauty of New York City or Manhattan. It evoked skyscrapers, the Jazz Age. You can see it here, the gold wash on top, and then there's an ebonized wash that's on top as well and it's to give it dramatic light changes you would see during the course of the day. And this is what the artists were responding to at the time. It's arguably the most magnificent, most important 20th century piece of metalwork in America.
The finished set is now in the Rhode Island School of Design. And here we have the original drawing. We think a minimum of $10,000 to $15,000 in the auction market today.
Wow, that's surprising. That's great.
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.