1862 Confederate Signal Corps Group
They were at a house sale in Central Mississippi. I had a hard time finding out anything about them.
Well, there's a reason for that. This is a very rare Confederate piece. The sender and the receiver would turn the wheel and create a code. The Confederate service actually was chartered about a year ahead of the Federal counterpart. The Confederate service, unlike the Federal counterpart, were chartered to engage in espionage. So a lot of the Southern officers who served in that capacity were also spies.
So that adds something of significant interest. There again, that may account for why so little of this material survived. I know of only two others in existence. In today's market, the retail value of this group would be $5,000-plus, and it's a wonderful piece.
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.
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