American Wafer Iron, ca. 1812

Value (2004) | $1,500 Retail$2,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
It's actually handed down to me from my father. He was stationed in Bermuda in the late '40s. And in 1948-49, my mother had him dig a hole for a bush and he found it in the hole.

APPRAISER:
Do you have any idea what it is?

GUEST:
We have no idea.

APPRAISER:
Well, these are not common, but they do show up. They're called wafer irons. And I've seen some that, on the surface, have dates. I've had them as early as the middle of the 18th century. They have initials, sometimes they have names. And this particular wafer iron has the Great Seal of the United States. It dates to the period of the War of 1812. And it was very popular then to be patriotic and have the American seal. They would put their dough on this. This is like a waffle iron. And they'd put it on a fire and they'd bake it, and when it was ready, they'd peel off the wafer and they'd eat them.

GUEST:
How did it end up in Bermuda?

APPRAISER:
A lot of things ended up in Bermuda, and a lot of things ended up in the Caribbean that started out in the Colonies.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
But it's kind of hard to figure why it got buried. Well, these sell, on the market, between $1,500 and $2,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
Wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Guthman Americana
Appraised value (2004)
$1,500 Retail$2,000 Retail
Event
Portland, OR (August 21, 2004)
Period
19th Century
Material
Metal
November 14, 2011: William Guthman, who originally appraised this object, died in 2006. We contacted appraiser J. Michael Flanigan for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,000 (Increased)

Flanigan goes on to note that the increase in value for this iron, which bears the Great Seal of the United States, can be attributed to a strong appetite for patriotic material, since the market for kitchen collectibles is currently weak.

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