Cochiti Pueblo Figure, ca. 1895
I have a friend who had birds in her attic, and she asked me to help her clean it out. She told me to throw everything out. And I decided that I'd go and ask her and make sure, because I saw some things up there. And she said, "No, it's all trash; throw it out." And so I kept this and a few other pieces.
Was there any reason why you kept this one, or...?
Not really. I just kind of liked it. It was kind of different and... It looked old, but I couldn't tell if it was old or not, so I wasn't sure.
Do you know if she bought this?
No, I don't think she bought it. I think that there were things that had been up there for a while, 'cause there was old newspaper articles in there with it, too, from, early, early newspaper articles, so...
It's from New Mexico, and it's from a pueblo village near Santa Fe called Cochiti. And these figures were made strictly to sell to the tourists, and they started making them pretty early. This one was probably made 1890, 1900, right in there. It's hard to come up with an exact date. What's neat about this is, it's a full-size figure, the design on it's great, the birds on the front. And what I really like is the back. It's got this full pattern that goes all over it, and really has a nice design. The bad part is, the foot's broken. These have gotten real collectible, even though they're, like, tourist things. I mean, the, the Cochiti people stood beside the railroad track at the train station and sold these things for, like, a quarter. If this was to come up for sale at a gallery in Santa Fe, it would bring somewhere, $3,000 to $5,000. GUEST (chuckling): You're kidding, right?
No, I'm not kidding. And there are some bigger ones, but this is a great one. And, I mean, I'm even talking with the broken foot, it's worth that.
Wow. It was a hot, sweaty day up there; I'm glad I did it now.
Yeah. Paid off in the end, huh?
It did. Thank you. I appreciate it.
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.