Simon & Halbig Character Doll, ca. 1910
I brought you this doll that's been in my family for a long time. It belonged to my grandmother-- my great-grandmother.
And I always loved dolls. She had a big collection in her house in New York City. When she died, she left me this doll. And it's been kicking around in my house for a long, long time.
Okay, it's a German doll. It's what's been called a character doll. It's not like a little dolly face. It looks like a real child. Now, this doll was produced in Germany by a company called Simon Halbig around 1910. It has what they call an open/closed mouth, no teeth, composition body, original mohair wig, original clothes. It's in lovely, lovely shape, very hard to find. Probably value... Oh, on a real bad day, maybe $2,000. On a real, real good day, probably $4,000.
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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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