1888 Post Office Wall Map
My father, he was a land surveyor and he was working on a road somewhere in Richmond. And they were going to demolish this house, and it turns out it was a post office. And this map was in there, and he saved it, basically.
And did he have it framed?
Yes, he did.
Okay, which took a lot of work because of the size, but also the condition. Now, the house that was being destroyed was a post office, and this is in fact the post office map. And you can see down here, there is the insignia of the U.S. Post Office. And this is a map that was a working map for the post office. And because of that, and because the post office delivered to all these small towns, it has everything. It has an amazing amount of detail. And this map shows from up here we have Virginia, and it goes down into the Carolinas. So it's a good regional map of this area. And right here, we have Richmond. And you can see that the railroads come in and out, and the railroads were important for the post office as well. But this has a lot more than that. It has all the routes. And down at the bottom, they have a key that shows you what the different symbols mean. And they show the routes that you went to three times a week, twice a week, once a week. We can see there is a blue route, so that's one that they would do three times a week. The reds were once a week. This map was issued on February 1, 1888. That information is right in the cartouche. But they also would update these maps as they went along. Down here, they had a line where in manuscript they would write when this map was issued. This one was the first edition. This was done in February 1, 1888. What is valuable about maps are the area... This is a good area, having Virginia and the Carolinas, a very popular area. Also the information-- you can't get more information than this-- and the relevance to the time. This shows this area with unparalleled detail in 1888. All of those things give it a huge amount of value. I would say that even with this condition, because of all the good things, in a map shop, they would probably put about $1,800 on this map.
Oh, my God.
Yeah, so I mean a lot of money, even given the condition.
Even in this condition.
In perfect condition, you're probably looking at a map that would be worth about $3,000 to $4,000 in perfect shape.
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.
Broadway's Best on PBS
Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles; One Man, Two Guvnors; Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, and Lea Salonga in Concert.