Thomas Willis Silk Work, ca. 1900
This picture had been given to my husband's grandfather. In the early 1900s, he took in boarders, and this artist was one of his boarders. The artist's wife used to throw him out from time to time.
I love that!
And he would board with my husband's grandfather. So I believe that this picture was given in lieu of rent. APRAISER: It's a work by T. Willis, who was an enterprising young man. He figured out that New York and Brooklyn was a port town, and so he started doing portraits of ships in silk. So we've got silk threads here, and we've got silk grosgrains at the top of the smokestacks. And then the hull of this ship, which is the Aquitania, is made out of velvet. And it's a remarkable piece. It is probably in a frame that Willis made himself. And it's one of the few ocean liners that he ever did. And the Aquitania, which was part of the Cunard line, steaming into New York Harbor-- that's why you have these American flags here and here. And it's a beauty. It's a honey. This guy must have been in really bad trouble with his wife, because the value of this painting, with the original frame, would be worth something between $7,500 and $10,000.
Oh, my! I am amazed!
Oh, my goodness. I had no idea.
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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