Austrian Piano & Czech Miniatures
When my mother met my father, he was taking care of his widowed mother. My mother was a little concerned, because she thought if she married my father, that she might have a clingy mother-in-law. However, when she married my father, my grandmother took off on a world vacation and she collected things. She liked miniature furniture. Pianos, also, were included.
Well, they're lovely pieces. I'd like to tell you a little bit about the furniture that you have. The little parlor set, actually, was made in Czechoslovakia. It's made up of a gilded metal with a little enamel insert to look like an upholstered back. The enamel is decorated with transfer printing. It was a little bit more economical than hand-painting. The little parlor set would probably sell in the value of about $50 to $100. On the other hand, you have another piece with the parlor set, is the little piano. This is silver with an enamel overlay. It's made in Austria. It's what is referred to as a Vienna enamel. It's hand-painted. Very nice detail. This would have been made probably about 1920. The little keyboard opens up and you can see the little hand-painted keys, made the first quarter of this century. If I turn it over slightly, you can actually see where it is stamped Austria.
These are very collectible. The work on it is all done by hand, very carefully painted on the top and on the lid here. This piece would probably sell in the neighborhood of about $1,500 to $2,000.
Your parlor set is in very good company with the little Viennese Austrian piano.
How interesting-- funny, I had always thought it was a complete set, but I guess it's... obviously it's not.
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.
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