Italian Plaster Intaglios, ca. 1835
I inherited them from my father, and he presumably got them in either Italy or in Central Europe, where he lived and studied.
Well, they are Italian, in fact, and it's interesting that he used them to study with because these are actually places in Italy and famous sculptures. Like here we have the Venus de Milo and you see the number underneath. Well, that corresponds with the number over on this side telling about what this is. You have the Three Graces, you have Antinous here and various other antique sculptures. And what I love about these books, too, is the condition of them. They're fantastic condition, these, and how you open it up... Isn't this wonderful? And then you flip it over and it's also on the other side. These are from about the 1830s, '40s. And, in fact, tourists used these, bringing them back from the continent-- and hence they would have gotten damaged-- brought them to teach their friends about famous places they had been, famous things they had seen. They're almost like early postcards. And how many of these do you have again?
Well, there are 15 volumes...
And they cover art history from early days till sometime in the 19th century, I believe.
Well, 15 volumes. I have never before seen 15 volumes. Do you have any idea how much these might be worth?
I have no idea. No idea.
Well, let me tell you. They're worth about $7,000.
What do you think about that?
That is quite a surprise and I'm very happy to hear that.
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.