George Nakashima Coffee Table, ca. 1968
Fifty years ago, shortly after we were married, my husband and I visited George Nakashima's workshop, met Mr. Nakashima, and he helped us pick out the wood and made the table.
So George Nakashima, he's born 1905, he goes into M.I.T. and he's an architecture student. He gets a great job, he gets to travel to Japan, and then the war happens and he is put into a Japanese internment camp, a really sad part of our history. And then he came to New Hope and started this phenomenal furniture business. It was all about the design for him. He's truly an artist working in wood. He described himself as a Japanese Shaker. He was all about the wood, which the Shakers cared about, this wonderful figuring that you see all over the top of this walnut, and then just a superb cabinetmaker, as the Shakers were. There's also his signature butterfly joint here, which is in an exotic wood of rosewood. And then this wonderful iconic design with a slanted leg on one and a support on the other. What did you pay for it?
Okay, well, today I think a piece like this has an auction estimate be in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.
That's very good.
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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