19th-Century Dutch Silver Tobacco Box
You brought us a very interesting box. What can you tell me about it?
Well, it was my dad's stepmother's, and right before she died, she gave it to her.
This is a 19th-century Dutch sterling silver box. Most likely used as a tobacco box for loose tobacco, for a pipe, back in the 19th century. But this box is absolutely fascinating. The decoration, number one, that you see is beautiful quality, very nice hand-chased decoration with landscape scenes and floral motifs. But interestingly, the lid slides open to reveal a beautiful landscape scene. Very, very unusual. Then continuing on, on the inside, we have two little doors up top here that open up. Again, with these very nice landscape scenes. The bottom of the interior is where the hallmarks are, you can see them at the bottom of the box, which indicate that it is Dutch, and it is 19th-century. And lastly, but certainly not least, the bottom slides open, and again, we have a beautiful scene. Do you have any idea what this box might be worth?
I don't know, maybe $50?
$50. Well, I hope that this will please you, but a good auction estimate-- should you ever decide to part with this box-- in today's market, would probably be somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000.
Oh, my God. (catching breath): That much?
I hope that makes you happy.
Yes, it does.
Thank you for bringing it to the ROADSHOW.
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.
Summer Night Concerts
Relax with four amazing concerts from the Vienna Philharmonic and special guests.