Naga Artifacts with Documents

Value (2012) | $2,000$3,000

My grandfather was in the Air Force during World War II, and he flew the Hump Mission from India to dropping supplies off in China. And he was flying with Eric Sevareid and a bunch of other notables, and their left engine died so they all had to parachute over the Himalayan Mountains. And the headhunters had to help them walk to safety because there were no helicopters then, so they actually had to walk out 145 miles to the Air Force base.

And you have this great picture of Eric Sevareid.

This is my grandfather, and this is Eric Sevareid.

They went down in exactly the country where the Naga live, which is on the border of Burma and India. Now, this is a wonderful example of a Naga headdress which would have been worn by a warrior. And as you can see, it has age, which indicates that it has been worn and used. This is a headhunter's sword. This is also a nice example, and one of the things we look for is wear here, which indicates it's been handled and used. If this could speak, it would probably tell us a lot of bad stories, wouldn't it? Naga material as such really doesn't go for a lot of money. I mean, normally I would say a headdress like this would be, say, $500 to $700. I think that a sword like this, maybe $300 to $500. But what you have is a unique situation. You have all of this with documentation, and I think it would be worth $2,000 to $3,000.

Really? Wow.

Yeah, so I think it's a wonderful, wonderful collection.

Appraisal Details

Dallas, TX
Update (2012)
Appraised value (1998)
Milwaukee, WI (June 20, 1998)
20th Century

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.