We think it's maybe a temperance banner. It came from my grandmother's attic. My mom and one of my aunts were cleaning out the attic-- that's the home that they grew up in-- and found this folded up in a little plastic bag. So, I've unfolded it and have tried to take as good care of it as possible.
Well, the first thing we want to do is we want to try to date this. And we date something like this by looking at the material and by looking at the style of the lettering. We see it's made of a very, very fine linen material, on a beautiful cotton backing. And it's quite early. it depicts the railroad. It's the metaphor, because railroads are something exciting, so they're telling you not to get on this train, and if you do, the stops on the train are pretty hazardous, leading all the way to Black Valley, and your tickets are sold at all liquor shops. Now, what's interesting about the temperance movement at that particular time is it's part of the overall reform movement that's going on in this country. So, this is not necessarily just something by a preacher who is anti-drinking. This is part of a serious awakening that's going on in a country that is new, and that all of a sudden, people have to show up at work, all of a sudden people are operating machinery, and liquor is cheap. It's plentiful, and people are drunk... a lot. So this whole reform movement that was coming in, we're talking about education, child labor, diet and drinking. So it's a very, very important facet of American history. It would have probably been hung by a traveling temperance person giving temperance speeches. In a way, the roots of this all led up to Prohibition. There are some condition situations here, but I'm not going to use the word "condition problems," because this piece was used, it took journeys, it was hung, it was taken down, it was rehung, and really has no effect on its value. Condition remains extraordinary, because of what it is. So in terms of value, I think a retail value of this is in the $5,000 to $6,000 range.
Well, thank you.
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.
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