Owner Interview: Tlingit Wolf Masquette & Ancestor Mask
INTERVIEWER: So, Jay, you just got some big news about your masks. Recap what happened out there with Ted Trotta.
Well, he told me that it was much older than I ever imagined. We don't know how the family came to this, for sure, at that time, but for 10 years of his service there, my great-grandfather had a strong relation with the local natives. INTERVIEWER: Ted Trotta told you that these are worth about a quarter of a million dollars, is that right?
I think I have to listen to the interview. INTERVIEWER: You'll have to hear a playback.
I told him that over and over because the numbers went by and I thought they were big. INTERVIEWER: This is your wife, and she was watching in the green room. What was your reaction, ma'am? GUEST 2: I was stunned.
She's the researcher that helped put together the story and the provenance of our family, and the relations there, and the years. So, I was kinda quick-reading that before I went and met with Ted, to see what I interpreted what I thought these things were. INTERVIEWER: Has anything you've learned today given you ideas about new plans you might make for these pieces after today?
Well, I'll take very special care of them. It's amazing how they've endured what we've put them through in the last short years. And where they came from, they came from Alaska, back to the States, so they've traveled a lot of miles. And that's just amazing but it doesn't mean that we can continue to not give them a lot more care. It's a personal, to us and the family, not the value that we're looking at.
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.