1854 Know-Nothings Tin Box

Value (2012) | $4,700$5,200

Bruce, you've brought us a great piece of political folk art from the middle of the 19th century.

It's got a nice slogan on it, obviously, "God and our Native Land." It's probably related to the Know Nothings anti-immigrant group in the mid-19th century. Somebody has written in script in pencil here, "This belongs to the Know Nothings, June 1854."


So my assumption is that it's related to the Know Nothing political movement.

Yes. The Know Nothings were a political group in the middle of the 19th century. It was xenophobia. They wanted to keep immigrants out of this country. Cities were flooding with Roman Catholic immigrants at that time. And they demanded two things in their platform. One was that any candidate for government, for election, had been native born to this country. The other was that citizenship would only be granted to immigrants after 21 years. They were named the Know Nothings because they were a secret society. When asked about membership, they always replied that they knew nothing. Not one of the prettiest pictures in American political life.

No, not at all.

It's wonderfully painted. It's in good condition. I would say that on the marketplace today, this box would probably bring about $2,500.

Very nice.

Appraisal Details

Update (2012)
Appraised value (1998)
$2,500 None
Hartford, CT (August 22, 1998)
Folk Art

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.