Dr. Seuss “Kangaroo Bird," ca. 1938

Value (2016) | $100,000 Insurance
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APPRAISER:
It's appropriate that we're on PBS to uncover this previously undiscovered species of bird. Can you tell me a little bit about the kangaroo bird?

GUEST:
Well, the kangaroo bird is a Dr. Seuss sculpture that my mother found at an art auction in La Jolla about ten years ago. At the time, she didn't know what it was, and she bought it as part of a box lot.

APPRAISER:
What'd she pay for it?

GUEST:
She paid $60 for it.

APPRAISER:
Well, I think the universal reaction to this piece is, "Wow!" It is incredible. What I find fascinating about it is the next step your mom took after she had the great eye to pick it up.

GUEST:
Well, she wasn't sure what it was, and she was able to contact Dr. Seuss by mail with a photo of the kangaroo bird, and so he wrote back a nice note saying that it was—that it was something he created.

APPRAISER:
That's right. He actually authenticated his own sculpture, which I think is just amazing. Here, he talks about how yes, indeed, it was something he created in the late 1930s. I've never seen anything like it. The only ones that I've seen have been in books, obviously in very private collections, probably of the family. To find one at an auction is just truly incredible. Dr. Seuss is an icon of universal proportions. Big time. You're talking about pop culture. You know, you're talking about comic collectibles. You're talking about everything. It all converges in this piece. It's just an amazing, amazing piece. If you were to ask me to give you an insurance appraisal on it, I'd be hard-pressed to give you anything less than a $25,000 appraisal. It's truly remarkable.

GUEST:
Wow!

APPRAISER:
I mean, it is a piece that can be enjoyed forever. Look at the little baby. I mean, it's incredible. The species goes on.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It's just amazing. And the letter authenticating it just makes it that much better. It's truly a phenomenal piece.

Appraisal Details

Update (2016)
$100,000 Insurance
Appraised value (2001)
$25,000 Insurance
Event
San Diego, CA (June 30, 2001)

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