Will & Finck Gambling Wheel

Value (2014) | $4,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
My uncle and aunt came to Oklahoma in 1898. He was a professional gambler. They traveled over Oklahoma, they went to Shawnee, came back. They decided they liked Tulsa best and at that time it was called Tulsee Town. And he leased a building in Tulsa that had a cigar stand, a barber shop, a billiard parlor, and upstairs he had a gambling hall. And he operated the cigar stand and soon discovered that there was money in lending money to the gamblers. And when they went broke, they came down and pawned their ring to him, or their diamond. And the story goes that if it was a big enough diamond, and it was enough money, he would go upstairs and win the money he loaned them. And he would still hold his diamond for them to pick up. (chuckles) And at that time or soon after, the oil boom hit Tulsa, and that's when his business really boomed, but of course, statehood came in, which kind of slowed the gambling situation down a great deal.

APPRAISER:
That fits perfectly, because it was manufactured by Will & Finck in San Francisco. They started out as cutlers in the 1860s making bowie knives and other cutlery things, and then as demand lessened for the bowie knives, they proceeded to make gaming equipment and they made gaming equipment clear up until the '30s. This would probably fit the turn of the century as far as production goes. The exciting part about it is the vivid colors, how the patina on the paint is so untouched and it's never been monkeyed with. And then, of course, it says Will & Finck, 818 Market Street, San Francisco. So made in California by a very, very important maker of gaming equipment. It's the mother of all game makers.

GUEST:
Well, great!

APPRAISER:
Yeah, it's just beautiful. It's worth around $4,000.

GUEST:
Is that right? Well, you probably scared my daughter to death. She keeps it in her living room.

APPRAISER:
(chuckling) Okay.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Witherell's
Sacramento, CA
Update (2014)
$4,000 Retail
Appraised value (2000)
$4,000 Retail
Event
Tulsa, OK (July 08, 2000)
Period
19th Century
Form
Game
Material
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.