Continental Automaton Diorama, ca. 1890
This has been in my husband's family, I think for a few generations. When I met my mother-in-law, it was in her home. And I believe before that it was in her family home in Germany.
It's called an automaton diorama. We have this rather wonderfully put together scene here, which is made out of cardboard and paper scrunched up, and painted in this really folky way. And we're going to see it in action. A lot of the movements that they contain were made in Switzerland and then put into the dioramas that were made in Austria and elsewhere in Europe. Dates from around 1890, so it's sort of late Victorian. And it would have been, you know, something in the home to amuse. All in all, I just think it's a wonderful piece of whimsy, really. If this was to come up for auction now, I would estimate it somewhere in the region of $1,500 to $2,000.
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."
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