German Silver Music Boxes
They are two silver boxes. They're not music boxes, they're bird boxes. When you pull a switch, a little bird comes out and sings. One was from my mother, and I remember it in the house when I was a child, and the other was from an old aunt who left it to me when she died.
These are German bird boxes which really, in effect, are also music boxes. They're beautifully done in German silver, which is not quite the quality of our sterling, but it is German silver. A repoussÈ and floral chase decoration-- very fine quality. Uh, this particular box here is late 19th-century, made in Germany. Uh, this box is a little earlier. Would be probably second quarter of the 19th century. Again, very fine chased and repoussÈ decoration with floral panels and so forth. And then, of course, to wind them up, we have this nice little brass key in the form of a bird. They sound wonderful. I'll just start them up now. You press that little bird, and he comes up. (chirping) And let's give him a companion, and they're singing to us. This one, the wings are also functioning. This one, the wings don't work. Oop, he got a little tired and decided to go home. And so did he. These are very popular today. In a well-advertised auction, this box would be estimated somewhere between $2,500 and $3,500, and this box, between $3,000 and $4,000.
Thank you very much for bringing them to the ROADSHOW.
Thank you. That is amazing.
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.