Blue Willow Patterned Toaster
I found it at an antique show. I was attracted to it because I collect willow. I thought it was just a very unique item, it being a toaster, and it is in workable condition.
Well, it looks like the day it was made. I'm just going to turn it over so we can see where it was made. It has a mark on the bottom telling us that it was made by the Toastrite Company, made in Cleveland, Ohio. And made, I would think, around the late 1920s, right at the time when the Great Depression hit America. What I particularly like about it, though, is the condition that it's in. I say it almost looks as if it's never been used, and in fact, you have the original cord with it. I'm going to plug it in and we'll watch it get hot. The willow pattern, which you collect, is perhaps the best-known pattern in the decoration of porcelain and pottery certainly over the last 200 years. It was invented in England by taking different images from imported Chinese porcelain and mixing them up into what we call a chinoiserie, or a Western interpretation of Chinese art and design, and produced this pattern, which was extremely popular when it was introduced in the late 18th century, and it has been perennially popular ever since. Because it's in willow pattern, it appeals to people like yourself who collect the willow pattern. Because it's a toaster, I think it appeals to people who collect toasters, and there are such groups. And because it's such a great piece of Americana, I think it has a wider appeal too. Tell me, if you don't mind, how much did you pay the antiques dealer for it when you purchased it?
I paid $800 for it.
Well, I think you're okay. I feel that it's certainly worth over $1,000 and perhaps as much as $2,000.
Well, thank you.
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.