17th or 18th Century Strong Box
We moved to London, England, in 1968 and while we were waiting to move into our flat, we went to the Chelsea antique fair. I just saw it and bought it, not knowing anything about it. But the dealer did give me a sales slip that said "Charles I, 1600 casket." I paid at that time £125, which at that time the exchange rate was $2.40, so about $250.
Have you done any research or any kind of background material on it?
Yes, I have. I found out that supposedly there's only six similar to it in the world.
It is a 17th or possibly 18th century. Now, if we take a look at it, walnut and rosewood veneer on the outside with gilt metalwork all over. A delightful look, continental look, and inside we have all of the little hidden goodies, the treasures. We have a compartment that has a little compartment here on the side, if I can get that out. Maybe you can... there we are. And it pulls out a little kind of drawer for another hidden area, very, very nice. There's one on the other side also. Other side just the same. Okay, that's the top. And then there's a latch that with the interior-- I don't know if we can see that on camera, but there's a false bottom here, and a latch goes down to drop this section of the front and we have a number of drawers that come out, and again, the strongbox element. We have lots of little hidden compartments, one here, and then the central stay comes out for another hidden compartment.
Wonderful piece. I'm not quite sure that it's as rare as you think, but I think that it's a delightful piece no matter what. Have you had any thoughts on how much it might be worth lately?
Well, 25 years ago it was appraised in Paris for $4,000.
Well, I would at this point put an auction estimate of $5,000 to $7,000, $6,000 to $8,000. So I think you've made a fairly good investment at $250.
$250 is not bad.
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.