Grace C. Rockwell Dolls, ca. 1925
They were my mother's dolls, and my aunt told me that she had had them since she was a little girl.
And any sort of time frame, time period when your mom would have had them?
It would have been in probably '20s and '30s.
It's interesting because you have a pair of twins, and they were designed by a lady by the name of Grace Cory Rockwell, in New York. And her first doll she made has a very funny name called "Fuji Wuji." And she actually designed these two dolls around 1925. Grace Cory Rockwell, an American designer. She had the heads produced in Germany by a company called J.D. Kestner. And the dolls were marketed through the Century Doll Company of New York. Very, very rare to find a pair of them. The bodies are made in America. They're American composition. In the '20s, most of the dolls were being made in America, so it's very rare to still find the bisque heads on them. The doll on the right has a little bit of a problem. Looks like your mom must have dropped it and broken it at some time, whereas the other one is in good shape. If you turn this one around, you'll see Grace Cory's signature on the back of the doll. Now, these were luxury dolls in their time. They weren't a five-and-dime item. You would get them at Schwartz's. They probably sold, when they were new, for probably five to ten dollars apiece. If the one hadn't had the little concussion in its life, the pair would have been worth around $8,000 for the two of them. So the perfect doll is worth around $4,000-- $3,000 to $4,000. The damaged one's worth, I would say, probably $600 to $800. So your mom had two wonderful little dolls in her life.
Oh, she did.
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.