Carved Oak Side Chair, ca. 1890
WOMAN: I inherited it from my late husband. The only thing I know about it, it was acquired at the Chicago World's Fair. For the past 22 years, it's been in my closet. It doesn't go with my decor.
This is a perfect example of the kind of craftsmanship that somebody would have shown at... at the World's Fair in 1893. It kind of looks like a woman with her hands at her sides, and this is her skirt. And, of course, there's her feet.
I think this looks like this... the chairs that were made in Venice, almost like a shell shape. And then, the other part of it is that those legs were all carved by hand. And I've seen legs like that on tables from Ireland.
So, I'm thinking it's a blend of influences, and that's not unusual for that time period. Some people refer to it as historic revival. It's made out of oak. It was made in a probably... a semi-factory setting, but a lot of the work was done by hand. A thing like this, easily, I could see that being $2,000 or $3,000 in a high-end retail store.
Mm-hmm. I have no idea about the value at all. I know when my granddaughters were young and come to stay with me, I told them, "You behave or you're going to sit in the devil chair." And they'd go, "Oh, Grammy, not the devil chair!" (laughs) To this day, we call it the devil chair.
Well, that face is kind of mean looking!
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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