KPM Porcelain Coffee Service, ca. 1815
What we have in front of us is a wonderful Continental porcelain tête-à-tête. It's a little service that was set up for coffee, and it would date from about 1820 to 1840. Is it a family piece?
Yes, my-- it belongs to my stepfather's family.
We have a diary, and it was brought over from Paris in 1929. We have a record of where they were packing it up and they made note of that in the diary.
Exactly. It's a Berlin service in a Classical design. It's German. And you can see that on the mark that we have here on the saucer. This is the royal scepter mark. The company was founded in 1752, and about 1763, it was taken over by courtly patronage, and they always have continued to produce very beautiful items like this. They're often decorated with scenic designs, sometimes with portraits, et cetera. It's really a very fine service. As you were bringing it over earlier, you had originally pulled out a cup and a saucer, and as we went about through it, out came another cup and a saucer. The next thing you knew, we had a nice little syrup jug, and then I noticed you had pulled out the tray. It's amazing. Part of its importance is its completeness. The other thing that I think we'll notice is the wonderful decoration of it, whether it's the very rich gold tone finish, or whether it's this light blue, the russet colors, the earthenware tones that are here, all colors very popular from that early part of the century. And this Egyptian motif was very important, was a prominent theme. It's just really a very fabulous set. Something that at auction would probably fetch in the area of $6,000 to $8,000.
Did you have any idea as to what its value might be?
No, we didn't. It's been in my mother's china closet for as long as I can remember, and nobody has ever been able to give us a history on it.
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.