Japanese Display Cabinet, ca. 1870
George, you brought this curio cabinet.
My grandmother received it as a debt back in the 1920s. She did childcare in San Francisco.
And they couldn't pay her, so she got the cabinet.
As payment, well, it was pretty good payment. Around 1920, this would have been 50 years old. And what you brought is something really in the Japanese style, actually made in Japan for the Western market. The story it tells is that in the late 19th century, there was this huge interest, in America, in Japanese things, all things Japanese. What they liked about it is what this piece expresses, and if you love wood, how can you not love this? It's almost like a patchwork quilt, and I love the asymmetry of these different woods, the grain and the light and dark contrast with each other. It's typical Japanese late 19th century aesthetic. Old graphics, you see these contrasting graphics. We come down here, look at this. I mean, I love this, it's almost like a lightning bolt, and then this is like a soft wave in the ocean. So you see it's not symmetrical when you split it down the middle. This asymmetry actually comes from Chinese furniture from the 18th century, but by the late 19th century, the Japanese took that asymmetrical idea, and knowing also that the Western market loved it made lots of furniture for the Western market. And after 1854, when Commodore Perry opened up trade between the West and Japan, it exploded, the shipment of things west over to America. So I'm so excited that you brought this. It's one of the nicestthat I've seen and that our Asian specialists here on the show have seen. It would be in the neighborhood of upwards of about $8,000, $7,500 or $8,000.
That's good, that's good.
Is that good?
That's very good, yes.
Are you going to be nicer to it?
I will be nice to an old friend.
You've been pretty nice.
It's been with me for all my life, so I'm thrilled.
You're gonna cherish it.
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.