1850 English Silver Tea Set by Samuel Hayne and Dudley Cater

Value (2004) | $15,000 Retail$20,000 Retail

GUEST:
Originally it was a wedding gift to my grandfather and grandmother for their wedding. And my grandfather's brother bought it when he was on a buying trip in London for the department store that my grandfather and his brother ran.

APPRAISER:
So, how did it come down to you?

GUEST:
Well, after they passed away, it went on to my father, who was the oldest of four children. And then when he passed away, I'm an only child, so I got it. And it will belong to my son. My father told me that it was 98% coin silver and two percent alloy. Now, I don't know whether that has anything to do with the value or not.

APPRAISER:
He's almost right. It's sterling, which means that it's 92 1/2% silver and then the rest is an alloy, usually copper. It is English. It's actually made in the time of Queen Victoria's reign. The five pieces were made in 1850. It's very typical circa-1850 decoration with the strap work, the scrolling foliage, the bosses and the huge proportions. The tray has conforming decoration and is also Victorian-- it's 1854. And they're all by the same maker, which is Samuel Hayne and Dudley Cater. On the bottom of every piece, you have the hallmarks, which include: the head of Queen Victoria, the sterling mark; the mark for the city of London; the maker's mark, Samuel Hayne and Dudley Cater; and the year mark-- in this case, 1850. And it's very unusual to have the set and the tray all sterling and all by the same maker. Now, you were telling me something about the cartouches on each piece.

[GUEST:
My grandfather's brother, what he did as a wedding present-- the shamrocks are for my grandfather's side, and my grandmother was Scottish, so you'll see the thistles in there.

APPRAISER:
And actually the shamrocks are incorporated in the border of the tray, which is clever. ]

GUEST:
Oh, now, that I didn't notice.

APPRAISER:
Do you use it much yourself?

GUEST:
No, just display at home.

APPRAISER:
Have you ever had it appraised?

GUEST:
Never appraised.

APPRAISER:
I would say probably maybe $5,000. An insurance estimate for this would be more likely to be $15,000 to $20,000.

GUEST:
That much?

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
Gee, I never even thought of that. I just thought, you know, it'd be about $5,000. That's amazing.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
LeBaron Antiques Trading
Woodbury, Connecticut
Appraised value (2004)
$15,000 Retail$20,000 Retail
Event
Reno, NV (August 14, 2004)
Period
19th Century
Form
Tea Set
Material
Sterling

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.