Japanese Kannon Figurine, ca. 1890
It's an Asian figurine. I don't know very much about it. It's been with me most of my life. My parents had it.
It's truly a wonderful object. It's extraordinarily rare, great workmanship. The figure is Japanese, and it's the figure of... in China you call it Kuan Yin, in Japan it's Kannon, which is the goddess of mercy. And she's standing on a wave base. And you see that this fits in very nicely and it's got this dark, patinated surface which is purposely put on. Most people don't know that this was intentional so one does not want to polish this off. This was made around 1880 to 1900 and the amazing part, I think, is the way that the ivory has been integrated into this figure. The beads are moving to the side because she is in movement. It's not static. Real liveliness to this figure. I haven't seen one of these in eight years on the ROADSHOW.
Really. Any idea what you think it's worth?
I don't have a clue.
Can I surprise you?
Yeah, you can surprise me.
I'd say conservatively $8,000 to $12,000. If it sold for $10,000 to $15,000 it wouldn't shock me.
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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."
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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.
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