Medicine Cabinet, ca. 1900

Value (2014) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
It's been in my family for only about 30 years. It was given to my grandmother by a gentleman who apparently had an uncle who was a doctor.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
And he was going to throw out all the tins and use the box as storage.

APPRAISER:
This is a student cabinet made by the Parke-Davis company, who's still in business today, probably made around the turn of the century, 1890, 1900. And it is, going by the list here, little sample tins, and they're handsome little tins like that, of various medical roots, medical herbs, and all kinds of natural remedies, and then there are more in the drawers, correct?

GUEST:
Yep.

APPRAISER:
So we have a whole drawer there, and then this drawer's full, and even this drawer... My goodness, look at all that.

GUEST:
They get bigger as they go down.

APPRAISER:
And it's a graduated set. Well, my gut feeling is telling me this was probably in a medical school as opposed to a student. This was probably kept in the classroom or in the laboratory, and the fact that it survived is amazing. I've seen these tins from time to time at flea markets, in boxes, in medical bags, and they're worth, on their own, five dollars, ten dollars, $20 each, depends upon the condition. I've never seen-- how many of them?

GUEST:
288.

APPRAISER:
All in very good condition with a few exceptions, and they're mostly full, aren't they?

GUEST:
Except for three.

APPRAISER:
Except for three, and what ones are missing, do you remember?

GUEST:
I don't know of the other two, but I know that one was cannabis sativa, which my older brother got to.

APPRAISER:
Your brother got to the cannabis, we won't go there. They smell beautiful, I feel like I'm in an exotic spice shop. Now the important thing, what's it worth? It's impossible to say, but because it's complete, excellent condition, I would give a rough guess-timate of $5,000 to $7,000 for the whole kit and caboodle.

GUEST:
Cool. Great thing to find in the trash.

APPRAISER:
Yes!

Appraisal Details

Update (2014)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Appraised value (2000)
$5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction
Event
St Louis, MO (August 05, 2000)
Period
20th Century
Material
Glass, Metal, Wood

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.