Meat Serving Cart, ca. 1935
This is a stainless steel, prime-rib table-service cart. And I purchased it about a couple years ago from the John Ascuaga's warehouse auction,
which was mainly just surplus equipment. John Ascuaga came to town in the early '50s and started with a restaurant with maybe a couple slot machines, I'm not sure. He's the last of the original '50s-era casino operators that still is alive and operating his own casino.
And he was at the auction. He gave me a little history on this cart. It has sterno heat in it, and it keeps your prime rib sizzling, and it served the prime ribs at the table. And this is a cart that he originally used when he first opened up in Sparks in the early '50s.
Well, it's interesting, because it probably wasn't new when he bought it. It's actually a piece that's from the 1930s, and it exhibits this great, 1930s streamlined design. It actually looks like a zeppelin, the way it has these lines on it, and the way it comes together at the front. And I think what really gives it that modern look are these wheel covers on the bottom.
We really don't know where these were made. There's some debate about whether or not they were made in Europe or whether they were made in the United States, but they do show up. They show up in different materials, they show up in aluminum, sometimes they're painted, sometimes they have vinyl on them. This seems to be a really unusual one in the metal, and the form is just wonderful. And there's a real great craze now for the streamlined, modern design. What did you pay for it, a few years back?
Now a piece like this at auction would probably bring between $6,000 and $8,000. The value I'm putting on is based on it as just a wonderful, wonderful example of '30s design.
It drew a lot of attention on the way in here.
It certainly did.
Current Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000 (Unchanged)
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.