♪ ♪ MAN: He said, "If you don't take it, I'm going to cut it up and throw it in the garbage."
That is really amazing.
APPRAISER: No, I'm serious.
That's hard to believe.
(chuckles): It's a great thing.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: Desert plants are able to retain water for long periods of time, and some antiques can hold their value for years.
Wow, I had no idea.
PEÑA: Let's find out if the 2006 estimates for these treasures have dried up or flourished since our visit to Arizona in hour one of "Vintage Tucson."
APPRAISER: Now tell me, how long have you owned this painting?
I've owned it approximately 22 hours.
(laughs) And in that brief time, have you done any research on the artist?
Do you know anything about him?
Well, actually, my wife did-- went on the internet and looked up Harold von Schmidt.
Come to find out he's a fairly famous painter.
She found out that some of his works, as recent as a year ago, went for around $23,000 to $25,000.
Well, I have to be honest with you, I mean, I could live to be 100, and I'm not going to understand American football.
I'm more of a rugby and soccer guy where I come from.
(laughs) But my, my friends here who are aficionados tell me that most likely this is the L.A. Rams and...
Probably the Philadelphia Eagles.
And we can see down here, it's signed, Harold von Schmidt, and dated, as well, 1955.
As often is the case with illustration pieces, rather indecipherable now...
But there's some writing up here, which is most likely telling the printers exactly how he wanted this to be done.
And we can see the remnants of the tape where this has been taped on, as well.
So I guess it makes sense it's the L.A. Rams, because he was originally from the West Coast and studied there with Maynard Dixon.
I'll be darned.
Who went on to be a Western artist.
And von Schmidt was also probably best known for his Western paintings.
What drew me to it is, it's a really wonderful piece of sporting art.
And this was a guy who was certainly, seems to be a very physical kind of guy.
Artists are often thought of as being slightly effete, you know.
But this guy was a lumberjack, he was a cowboy, and in fact, he represented the U.S.A. team in the 1920 Olympics and was a rugby player.
Well, I'll be darned.
Yeah, so, it's pretty, pretty apparent to me he knew what physical contact was all about.
And probably knew what it was like to be in this position.
The illustration art that he produced is very much in demand these days.
You mentioned a figure to me earlier.
Uh, the $25,000 figure?
Yeah, did you happen to notice what those were for?
Actually, they were for his Western pieces.
That's correct, because it tends to be the case that the Western pieces are the most sought-after.
Now, this is a wonderful example of a sporting painting, and I think will appeal to many people who are interested in American football.
As much as to the illustration collecting community.
But I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings.
I think you're going to have to scale down your ambition somewhat.
Okay, I would think at auction, a piece like this is more likely to be in the $6,000 to $10,000 range.
(chuckling): Oh, my gosh.
Uh, I'm not disappointed at all.
Well, what would have happened to it otherwise?
I mean, when you got it, what, what was the situation?
The situation was, a friend of my wife's was moving because he was retiring, and he wanted to get rid of some stuff out of his home, and I went over to pick up a chair.
And I was leaving, he said, "By the way, would you like this?
"Because if you don't take it, I'm going to cut it up and throw it in the garbage."
Well... (chuckles) So, there you have it, I know.
Could have gone in the garbage, and instead of that, you got a $6,000 to $10,000 piece.
I'm not disappointed at all.
And it's a super piece.
MAN: It came from my Great-Aunt May's house in Philadelphia.
My immediate family has had it since 1972-ish, and it just came from a house that was just full of antiques.
The first thing that strikes one about this, obviously, is the size.
It's monumental, and the tradition of making monumental porcelain vases began in China, and most recently, one finds that these were made in the early 18th century.
And they were made for European nobility.
Now, by the end of the 18th century, that was out of fashion.
But Japan by the late 19th century had been in contact with the West, and they were interested in producing goods and products for export to the West.
So they're made of porcelain, very large, going back to the tradition of these made in China, but meant to really capture the public's imagination and to show the skill and the incredible fine-quality workmanship of the Japanese artisans.
It's a very large landscape design that is continuous, typical of Japanese art.
But the fine quality of the painting is really extraordinary, all hand-done.
This actually is in two pieces.
Yes, it is.
And it's heavy.
To make this on a wheel in one piece is just not possible.
It would have collapsed from the weight.
Now, when it was put together, there was a small amount of glaze there, put back into the kiln, fired again, and that provided just enough of an adhesive so that when someone lifted it, it wouldn't fall off.
Now, at some time in the history of this vase, someone decided to lift it.
And I'm gonna be very careful when I put this back, so we don't break anything.
Someone decided to lift it this way, and it popped apart.
Does that damage the value?
This is a fault line that was always there, and it could be made to be attached again.
Do you need to do that?
No, you don't.
It's probably worth around $6,000 to $8,000.
You brought in these lovely pictures, and I immediately recognized who the artist was.
Uh, Sanford Ellsworth.
Their color and condition are fantastic.
I think the subject matter holds them back a little bit.
Age and beauty reign supreme, and children and young pretty women tend to bring higher prices.
APPRAISER: This is in absolutely extraordinary condition for a piece of this age.
The wood and tin pedal car.
was made by Pioneer.
You can see the decal on the back.
It's a Packard, great condition.
WOMAN: A friend of mine bought it online at an online auction about five or six years ago.
He didn't really care for it and he finally just said, "Here, you can have this.
It's ugly, I don't really want it."
So he gave it to me.
It's not ugly, it's unusual, and it's wonderful, and contemporary art is really hot right now.
It's by an American artist named George Condo, who was born in 1957 and then went to New York in the '80s and was part of that whole wonderful New York scene around that time.
He was friends with Andy Warhol's Factory folks, and also collaborated with William Burroughs, the writer, and also with Allen Ginsberg.
His style is called Figurative Abstraction, which is an unusual, contemporary Surrealist style, which I think we can really see in this drawing.
This is a very special little piece.
The back of it has a art gallery label.
So we have a nice documentation of where it's been.
I'd value this piece at between $1,500 and $3,000.
(all laughing) Wow!
(laughs) Oh, that's amazing.
WOMAN: Well, I brought two pieces-- a Picasso, because I love Picasso.
As a student of art, I've always admired his work.
My husband and I were in the diplomatic corps.
We lived in Italy.
We had reason to travel, and I said, "Can we go to France?
"I want to go to Vallauris, where Picasso lives.
"I heard there's a little store there that sells ceramics."
It took us hours to get into the store, because the town was closed for four hours.
They didn't have anything but Picasso plates.
And I said, "Oh, no, I want the vases."
So first she brought out this white one, and which I like very much, but I said, "Where is the vase with Jacqueline's profile, his wife, Jacqueline?"
She says, "Oh, we don't have them anymore."
And I guess tears must have come to my eyes, because I really wanted that one so badly.
And she came out with this vase and she said, "I had this in the store room, but we didn't sell it because it's not perfect on the handle."
I said, "I'll take it, anyway, I love it!"
So now what year was that?
This was 1967.
Picasso wintered in Vallauris and he developed this relationship with the Madoura pottery, and they allowed him to experiment with designs.
They used their expertise, as well, to come up with some of these unusual techniques.
And the most salable examples are the examples that have people or animals on them.
And guess what?
Both of the pieces you brought in have these wonderful faces, in this particular jug.
The beautiful animal under the spout.
I love, I love it.
Look at her eyes.
And this one here has these wonderful character faces on it.
And really, it has a tremendous amount of humor.
Now, he obviously didn't manufacture all of these, he designed them.
And they were made in, in limited editions, and up until about ten years ago, they weren't bringing a lot of money.
And in the last ten years, there's actually been a frenzy, and they've been very, very desirable.
He didn't start manufacturing designs for these until he was about 65.
So it's interesting, the latter part of his life, that he would find this new ware that was initially looked at very commercially, and...
I know, because she told me that the Parisian women were making lamps out of this one.
Right, and they were very inexpensive, but certainly, he was taking advantage of his name.
Now, she said that the handle was a little bit off.
Yeah, it's a little bit off.
And because of that, the glaze was a little bit rough on this piece.
And this piece today, how much would it bring?
I have no idea.
How about at auction, roughly $8,000 to $12,000?
Oh, my God, that is really amazing.
And this vase, about $10,000 to $15,000.
Oh, my God!
(laughs) I would-- but I'd never sell them, ever.
Now, what did you pay for these?
I paid about $125 in American money.
And then it was about $175 to $200.
My husband kept saying, "Are you sure you want that?"
(laughs) I said, "Yes, I do."
MAN: It was my great-grandfather's.
It's kind of an artifact of the Old West-- he was a sheriff and police chief in Crawford, Nebraska.
I noticed this photograph here.
It says that he was the first police chief, in 1885?
About 1885, don't know the exact date.
Okay, this is a picture of him here in his uniform, and with his badge.
And then he, here he is in the same studio, with his family and his badge.
Behind him is my grandfather, who used to tell me lurid tales of law enforcement in the Wild West.
But my grandmother would always say, "Don't believe a word of it."
We have a Colt factory-engraved single-action, .45-caliber, five-and-a-half-inch barrel.
It's got quite a bit of finish in the protected areas.
You can see the blue.
It was originally all blue in finish.
When we see engraved guns, we like to see all the finish.
For an historical weapon, we like to see use.
And this shows a lot of use without any abuse.
It also comes with the original holster.
The gun appears to be engraved by Helfricht, who was a Colt engraver at the turn of the century.
The great thing about it is, you got a factory letter on the gun.
And it shows, by serial number, the caliber, the barrel length-- which is five-and-a-half-- blued, shows rubber grips, and it does say it was factory-engraved.
Is it easy to get those letters?
A couple of hundred bucks, you contact them.
It takes a few months, but it's...
Especially for something this special.
It was shipped to Hartley and Graham in New York, 1885, and we noticed in the letter, it calls hard rubber grips.
And it has custom pearl grips on at the moment.
Hartley and Graham was a retailer, so these grips fit perfectly, and they have your great-grandfather's initials on the base of the right grip.
On the other grip, they have a beautiful steer head.
It's our belief that Colt shipped them the gun, and they replaced the grips at the time before they sold it.
When your grandfather received it, this is how he received it.
Now, there's damage in the grips.
There's damage there, and it does detract from it.
The most important thing is, you have a family document and you have a Colt document.
Do you have an idea what you think it might be worth?
A few hundred dollars, maybe.
Well, we could sell it in our gallery for $25,000.
No, I'm serious.
That's hard to believe.
(chuckles) That's awesome.
It's a great thing.
Very few engraved single-actions.
WOMAN: It originally belonged to my great-grandmother, who came to Tucson in 1878.
And it's been passed down through each daughter, until it got to me, for four generations.
Well, I see you brought a photograph of her in, and right here, we can see the pendant that we'll be talking about, right on her neck.
It's from about 1915.
Oh, is it?
So, she got it a little later.
Oh, I thought it was earlier than that.
I think that it was probably made in New York.
He met her and they were married in New York.
The fine platinum work, they were doing a lot of this in New York City around the turn of the century.
There were a lot of people that were doing this fine mill graining, which we see around the diamonds here, the principal stone.
And this sort of wreath or garland motif was very popular around that time period.
And then we have this tiny little drop here, this pear-shaped drop, which suspends on the bottom, as well.
I did a diamond breakdown on it.
The largest stone is almost a carat size, and then they sort of graduate down from there.
But a total weight of five carats.
Oh, I didn't know that.
The Belle Époque style is one of those styles that is becoming more and more sought-after.
And the platinum work is really unrivaled.
There's just very delicate, knife-edge bars here, as well.
And at auction, I would say the estimate would be anywhere between $7,000 and $9,000.
Oh, my gosh, really?
Oh, that's wonderful.
Yeah, I'm glad you're, you're happy with that.
I'm very happy with that.
I had no idea what it was worth.
MAN: Well, it was my grandfather's.
He grew up in L.A., was born in 1902, and I don't know whether he was the original person that had it or whether it was even his father, just don't know.
Well, you probably hear us on the "Roadshow" talk a lot about Steiff, and Steiff is Margarete Steiff from Germany, and is the pre-eminent maker of teddy bears.
But this is not your run-of-the-mill Steiff teddy bear, and it is very important that you said 1902.
Now, 1902 was a significant year because Richard Steiff was the original designer of the Steiff bear.
And in 1902, he experimented with how to join a bear with stringing or, what we have here is what we call a rod bear, and this is a 1903 Steiff rod bear.
Running in the body from one arm to the other arm, and in a T-fashion to the head, is a rod.
So if you took an X-ray of the bear, you would see metal rods, and the same for the legs.
There's a rod running from this leg to that leg.
Now, later on, they got rid of that rod and just did simple disked joinery.
It was made in 1903 and was premiered at the Leipzig Toy Fair.
Now, it did not run into production for very long.
And there's some significant differences between a rod bear and a standard early Steiff teddy bear.
And the first one we can talk about is this nose.
Now, the nose is not a stitched nose, like a later Steiff bear.
It's made out of gutta-percha.
It was soft when it was new.
It's molded, and it looks more realistic, like a real bear's nose.
This is the only model that carried a gutta-percha nose.
Now, it has the typical shoe-button eyes, but what's different about a rod bear is, the head is a little bit lower, the ears are lower down, and the way the head sits on the torso is different.
It's very distinct.
It has the original five stitched claws.
It's excelsior stuff, which is like wood shavings.
It has the original felt pads, and it's...
Originally, it would have come with an elephant-type button-- it is missing the button.
And the button would have been right here, which was very early, and it's...
It's sad that it's not there.
It does have a little mohair loss to the head, but the body is quite nice.
And you have the original clothing that your family has made for him, which is nice for him and it gives him a lot of character.
The clothes protected the body.
If you look at the body, it's in better condition than the head.
So this is all custom-made clothes, though.
Yeah, it's homemade clothes.
So to have that, too, helps with the appeal of the bear.
It's the rarest of Steiff bears.
To the, the bear market, a fair auction estimate would be $8,000 to $10,000.
(chuckles) Now, recently, a bear in slightly better condition, with all the mohair on the head, sold for $17,000.
So that shows you how desirable this very early, Richard Steiff-designed rod bear is.
I'm kind of blown away, to be honest.
It was just something that was up in the hallway closet, and not played with or not used, and thank goodness for that.
APPRAISER: It's a three-dimensional painting, and it's by Thomas Willis.
And he had a body of work, so we know the hand.
Thomas Willis painted out of New York City, he was born in Connecticut in the 19th century, and it's a canvas that's painted.
And then he applied silk thread to it, and he pasted it on, applied it on, and sewed it on.
They're, very collectible.
APPRAISER: Wonderful cigar advertising piece.
These were done in the early 20th century.
Obviously, Robert Burns being a famous writer, his face and his figure was used on a lot of the items that, that are out there for cigars, et cetera.
Especially on cigars.
The condition of it is almost pristine.
You don't find them-- usually they get beat up.
GIRL: My grandmother gave them to me before she passed away.
She collect them, I believe, from Mexico.
They're by the Mexican jewelry maker Matilde Poulat, and she copied sort of a pre-Columbian look, so that's why you have such a busy design pattern on them.
But each one of them have turquoise and they have real amethyst, and there's some wonderful silver work.
Now, do you have a favorite piece of the group?
Um, actually, I think it would be that one.
That one's very nice, and it has a very nice mark.
She's a very popular maker.
And a lot of people are copying her now.
But these are original pieces with all the right marks, and a pin like this on today's market would sell for about $450.
And all the others in the group kind of share a similar pricing.
There's probably over $2,000, $3,000 worth of jewelry in this box.
(giggles) I've had them probably since the late '50s.
A girlfriend that I had at the time, her father gave them to me.
And I was kind of surprised, because the one you chose was really in the worst condition of the three.
Yes, that, that is true, but the reason for that is because it's the earliest of the three.
Wall maps are amongst the rarest maps because they hung on walls, water would get them, people would point at them and tear them, things like that.
Wall maps really came around in the middle of the 19th century.
This one is even earlier than that, and it's because it's so early, especially for an American wall map, that it has the real interest.
This is, in fact, one of the earliest wall maps of the United States, and it was done by a man named Osgood Carleton, and Osgood Carleton was one of the first professional American cartographers and did a number of maps, including, in 1791, a wonderful wall map of the United States.
He then updated it later, and this is from the updated map.
This is from around 1806.
His information, especially in New England, which is where he studied...
...and where he did most of his work, is very, very detailed, very up to date.
But what's interesting for collectors is the frontier, and the frontier is more over in this area at that time, and that's what people are interested in.
You add that to the fact that being a wall map from that early a date, it's very, very rare.
Now, condition: obviously, a really big issue with this map.
It is fixable.
You are missing some surface, if you look up in this area especially... Oh, right, yeah.
Where it's gotten worn.
But there's really not much printed information.
You've got areas like this, but I think those can probably be put back down.
In this kind of condition, it would actually be hard to sell it.
If I had to sell it in this condition, I'd probably put $5,000 to $6,000.
If you fix it up, and that would probably cost you maybe $1,500 to $2,000 tops, it's worth at least $8,000 to $10,000, possibly over $10,000.
(laughs) Depending on how it comes.
Now, if it was in perfect shape, you're talking about, maybe, $16,000 map.
Wow, I, I had no idea.
(laughs) I'm floored.
(laughing) I almost didn't bring it, I... Well, I'm really pleased you did.
(laughs) MAN: This was my great-grandmother's originally, and it was presented to her in 1953.
I just remember it, growing up, on my grandmother's counter and it was her treasure chest.
Then we inherited it when she passed away.
As a kid, I thought they said it was French and that it was a couple of hundred years old.
But I think that's what they look like in the pictures, so...
I really don't know-- I'm guessing it's at least 53 or 56 years old.
It is porcelain, and it's completely hand-painted.
All of the design on the top, these two couples at an evening party, in an 18th-century French-style dress, is completely hand-painted.
Then we have this wonderful, hand-applied raised gold surface on the top.
It's very intricate, with birds and a crowned fleur-de-lis, there's a lion's head, and then all kinds of grapes and vines and so forth.
We've got hand-painted scenes on the front, down here below, and then on the sides.
Now, there's a mark on the underside, and we can look at that.
Let's turn it over like this, very carefully, and we see that there's a hand-painted blue mark with an F inside of it.
And that is the mark, traditionally, of the Sèvres factory in France.
However, I've got some bad news for you.
It's not actually made by the Sèvres factory.
What are those marks there?
When it was fired, there would have been little bits of porcelain that would have stuck down from the firing, and they would've ground down the little bits of rough porcelain so that it would sit perfectly flat.
So that was just part of the manufacturing process.
There's also an interesting label here on the underside that has a printed description, which may have been from an auction at some point, is my guess.
The mark on the underside has a date, and that would indicate that it was made in the mid-18th century, which would be about 250 years old.
But actually, it's about 100 years old.
It was made by an unknown factory in France and by an unknown artist, but still very high quality.
And we see boxes like this, but they're usually much smaller.
We see lots of little ring boxes, we see larger ones, jewelry caskets, and they all have these Sèvres marks.
As recently as perhaps 30 years ago, almost everyone thought that these were made by the Sèvres factory.
Despite giving you the bad news that it has a fake Sèvres mark and that it's really not Sèvres, it still has very good value.
A retail price would probably fall somewhere between $8,000 and $12,000.
It is the largest Sèvres-style box that we have ever seen.
So that's a pretty good price for a fake, so to speak, isn't it?
MAN: My great-grandfather was a publisher of books, and the way he sold them was not in stores, but rather, he would give a sample of the book and some of the illustrations to various agents, and the agents would travel around and subscribe people to it.
They would have to pay and sign their names in the subscription book.
That was a common practice in the late 19th century, what you just said, a subscription book.
We call them sometimes salesman prospectuses, Yeah.
Sometimes they're called salesman dummies, because often the book was still in the works.
And they were seeing how much money they could raise to decide whether they would continue on with the publication, whether they could afford to do it.
First of all, the subject matter of the book from 1882 is very interesting-- Colonel Richard Irving Dodge was a U.S. career Army officer who spent much of his life out on the Great Plains.
And this is one of his great books, "Our Wild Indians."
And it gives a very, very good firsthand account of Indian life, both the good and the bad, the wars as well as the peace times.
And another interesting factor of this book is that it's dedicated to William T. Sherman, and not only is it dedicated to him, but he's also written an introduction to the book itself, and you'll find examples of what you're gonna get when you buy your book.
This is one example, a nice, colorful plate.
The book was gonna be well illustrated with scenes of Indian life, in this case.
And then with a salesman's prospectus, in the back, the agent would actually take this book with him, and almost door-to-door, the same way an encyclopedia might be sold.
You would go and get signatures of people who would agree to subscribe to the book.
In the case of this book, because of his prominence and because of the subject matter, he got some very important subscribers.
The very first one is President Chester A. Arthur while he was president.
Robert Lincoln is Abraham Lincoln's eldest son.
As we go through, we find William T. Sherman himself, the dedicatee of this book and the introduction written by him, has also subscribed.
Here I found previous President U.S. Grant.
There's international figures.
There's some Chinese dignitaries that have signed.
One of the more interesting ones here that I find is one of the very last ones, who's Buffalo Bill, William Cody.
So again, you have these great famous figures of the day and their signatures.
Value-wise, because of the Indian content and the fact that the book is meaningful ethnographically, at auction, we would estimate something like this at $8,000 to $12,000.
Oh, boy, that's really something.
WOMAN: This vase was given to me on my 18th Christmas by my mother, who purchased it at a white elephant sale.
This piece is referred to as a ewer.
And this is not a marked piece.
This happens to be a piece that doesn't have to be signed.
It stands on its own.
Very few of these pieces were signed.
This piece was made by Mt.
And I think that's a name that is familiar to you.
That's the name I wanted.
This is the most exotic of all the Mt.
Washington pieces, and it's called Royal Flemish.
And this particular piece has designs of banners and shields around the top, which is a rare pattern.
We have all the typical colors that they use, the beautiful gilding and gold work all around the piece.
Now, it's a little bit dusty, but when this is cleaned up and you hold it to the light, it's so unbelievable and it's like looking through a stained-glass window.
This particular piece has the twisted rope handle.
I had it appraised at least 25 years ago.
And at that time, he thought it was $335.
Are you hanging on to the table okay there?
I got it.
This piece is worth, in the retail market, in the $8,000 to $10,000 range.
Oh, my goodness!
What would Mama say now?
Well, I know you're, I know you're surprised.
And I'm just so, so pleased to see the piece.
Thank you so much for bringing it.
Oh, thank you.
You don't know how I've treasured it.
APPRAISER: These are Indian, but they're made for English or European market, mostly for the English.
These are made out of ivory.
And then we've got some, I think it's probably ebony or some exotic hardwood, and then mahogany, and then more ivory on little feet.
And made probably from about 1825 to 1850.
I believe it's the, uh... "War Party" is the name of it.
By Carl Kauba, right.
What's interesting about Kauba is that he was Austrian, and he never came to this country, but he was very much interested in cowboys and Indians and this kind of subject matter.
In the 19th century, when he worked, the later part of the 19th century, the American West was a very romantic, idealized place.
And it was a very popular subject matter for Europeans.
These were made in Vienna, very finely detailed, very finely modeled.
What I have here is a poster of Mount St. Helens pre-1980.
Actually, this is about the area of post-World War II, I would think, or during that time in the 1940s.
And it's, as you can see, it's a Northern Pacific poster.
I have a number of these that I've got.
I've got about five or six.
I had a friend of mine, belonged to her father, he was in the military in World War II.
And you got them from him... About 25 years ago.
I liked them, and I figured they're worth, you know, $100 or so apiece.
Let's take a look at the other ones, if we could, I want to show you these ones in here.
Also from the Northern Pacific Railroad.
More impressively, perhaps than the one in the frame, this one features a locomotive.
While the condition isn't great, it's the same artist, Gustav Krollmann, for the same railroad, the Northern Pacific.
This one is illustrated the North Coast Limited, which is one of their famous locomotives.
Also... the Northern Pacific Railroad, this is Yellowstone Park by Edward Bremer.
It's an image of Old Faithful.
You know, one of the great natural, uh, places in all, in all of the Continental United States.
They date to the 1930s, so they're pre-war.
American railroads have become so highly collectible in the poster field, $100 is very, very, very low.
The Mount St. Helens poster sold at auction for about $1,500.
The Yellowstone Park, Old Faithful, sold just last year for $2,800.
You gotta be kidding me!
And the image of the locomotive...
I don't wanna know, I think.
The image of the locomotive, now albeit, this one is gonna have to be restored because the condition is so rough.
But, with the train, we've sold this one, again, as high as about $2,500.
MAN: I've got a letter that my great-grandfather wrote on the 23rd of May, 1865.
He was at a speech that was being given by Major General O.B.
APPRAISER: What was the importance of that date?
Well, that date was the first day of the Grand Review in the Civil War.
And the Grand Review was a two-day celebration in... that was celebrating the Union victory.
It was held in Washington, DC, and the two major Union armies were in attendance.
General Meade's army of 80,000 and General Sherman's army fresh from their march across Georgia marched 65,000 soldiers on parade.
The letter is written in German by your ancestor about the Grand Review that was held in Washington.
He wrote the letter in German, but if you notice, when he signed his regiment, that's in English.
Because the postman wouldn't be able to read the German.
And what about the image that you brought?
Well, the image is a tintype of my great-grandfather in his uniform.
It appears to be a backdrop.
The traveling photographers would come around, they'd go into camp, they'd set up their photography studio, they'd have the camera and they had several different patriotic and other motifs that they could put in the backdrop.
You could put on anything that you wanted of the camera props.
And if you notice, he has everything.
He has the knapsack, his hat, his uniform, the bayonet and the Model 1855 rifle.
That's a Springfield Model 1855, a .58-caliber rifle, but you don't often see them in Civil War photography.
And it's a desirable thing to a photograph collector.
Which is going to drive the price of the image up.
And it's a quarter plate, a nice larger size, as well.
The letter itself is probably a $200 to $400 letter.
The image, because it's very clear, it has the Model 1855 rifle in it, a pretty painted backdrop, and we know who it is, it would be about a $1,200 image.
I would insure it as a pair for somewhere around the $2,000 range.
I'm kind of flabbergasted that they've got that kind of value for insurance purposes.
MAN: I got it from my father after he died.
He was a diagnostician or an internal medicine doctor in San Francisco, and he was a member of one of the men's club there.
And the man who ran the dining room, wife got very ill.
It turned out she was dying of cancer, and my father took care of her.
And when it was all over, he refused to give the man a bill of any sort, and shortly thereafter, this appeared in my father's office.
He was born in San Francisco, and Percy Gray was of English heritage, which makes it interesting to me that he painted in watercolors as much as he did.
I think the English watercolor tradition was carried on in his family.
Many of the California regional painters worked in oil, but he worked in oil and switched very early on in his career to being primarily a watercolorist.
Most of the literature will tell you that he changed his signature from block letters into this script signature in 1910, so we know it has to be after 1910.
It's pretty hard to date it more specifically than to say it was painted between 1910 and the end of his life around 1950.
There's a consistency to his style during that period.
Another thing you have going on with Gray, which I think is interesting, is that rather than being one of those brilliantly colored California Impressionist painters, he painted more in what's called a tonalist style, which is the more muted, dreamier, softer, quieter style.
And there's a lot of interest in tonalism in America now.
As far as the value is concerned, if you were to see this picture at auction today, I suspect the estimate would be somewhere in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.
I beg your pardon?
Between $10,000 and $15,000.
Um, I hope that's not a disappointment.
(laughs) Watercolors by Gray have sold at auction for as much as $50,000, but they tend to be quite a bit larger and somewhat more colorful than this.
Wow, had no idea.
WOMAN: This is a letter that was written by Charles Dickens to Lady Spencer, and my mom bought it for my father as an anniversary present.
He always bought beautiful things for her, and this particular year, she wanted to be the one to buy the present and... She did.
He was an avid Dickens reader, and it was just the perfect present for him.
It says, "Mr. Charles Dickens "presents his compliments to Lady Spencer, "and begs to say that he has just heard from Mrs. Watson "that possibly he can have the pleasure "of assisting Lady Spencer "to obtain some good position at his readings.
"If Lady Spencer will have the kindness "to let Mr. Dickens know what her wishes are, "he will immediately instruct his secretary "to do the best he can to advance them.
"There is great pressure on the room, however, "and Mr. Dickens regrets that he did not hear sooner "from their friend Mrs. Watson.
Bedford Hotel, Brighton, Friday, eighth November, 1861."
At the time, Charles Dickens' readings were like going to a Bruce Springsteen concert.
(laughing) He was the rock star of readers.
Getting a ticket to his readings wasn't an easy thing.
So, Lady Spencer, she's asking for a favor, and he's saying, "Well, maybe if you had contacted me sooner, but I'll see what I can do."
It's a nice content letter.
It's kind of snubbing Lady Spencer, without saying, "Gee, you should have done your homework and asked me sooner."
The signature part is up here in the first line.
It's a third-person type of signature, as opposed to "dear"...
And then having the large signature that we know and can appreciate at the end.
I wouldn't have a problem of marking it $3,000.
Now, the large signature that we know about Charles Dickens, where he's got the scrawls underneath it, if it had that kind of a signature, I would up it to maybe $4,000 to $4,500.
Can you tell me if the Lady Spencer that he was writing to is related to Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Diana?
I really don't know, because we don't know which Lady Spencer this is.
You brought in a guitar from 1935.
Martin & Company.
And what makes it unique is the shaded top.
They didn't make a lot of these.
WOMAN: They were bought originally in 1886 for my great-grandmother on her wedding.
My mother's sisters began the tradition of the brides wearing these bracelets on their wedding day, and they've been worn by at least 34 brides so far.
34 brides... Yeah.
Have worn these beautiful, two-colored gold, rose and yellow gold, bangles from the 1880s.
They are in beautiful condition.
Well, it's a Meissen clock that my mother bought in Berlin in 1947, and she bought it with a few cartons of cigarettes.
A few cartons of cigarettes?
On the black market, of course.
And we had it appraised in 1982 for $2,500.
Well, it is a Meissen clock.
Um, it has a wonderful French movement in it, but the beauty of this clock is really the fact that it's a Meissen clock and it's an exceptional case.
The figures are so well struck and painted, it's one of the best I've ever seen.
It's made circa 1885.
It really doesn't get any better than this in terms of cases.
There are no hairline fractures in the dial.
The flowers are usually broken.
The figures usually have broken wings or fingers.
But this is in really fantastic condition.
It's a clock that would sell for $10,000 to $15,000.
$10,000 to $15,000?
$10,000 to $15,000.
It's come a long way since 1982.
Well, that's great.
WOMAN: It was offered at an estate sale.
They were having a silent auction.
At the request of one of my harp students' mothers, I went over to check the harp out because she wanted to know, "Would this be suitable for my daughter to take her lessons on?"
So I ran over to the home, and I looked at the harp, and I said, "Oh, it's, like, really an antique.
"It's not anything for a student.
It couldn't even be strung to pitch."
So the next morning, I called the woman who had been running the estate sale, and I said, "I need to get that harp.
"That's such a beautiful harp, and I'm a harpist, and I want to share it with people."
And I said, "Is there any way "I could be in touch with the person who won the silent bid?"
And she said, "That person's an antique dealer.
Maybe we can work out a deal."
And I was able to purchase the harp.
And then how, how much did you pay for it?
I paid $2,400 for it, and I was so happy to have it.
Naderman was born in 1735.
And in 1778, he was made harp maker to Marie Antoinette, who was then the queen of France.
Here, on this side here, you can see the Naderman stamp.
Now, I think that the instrument's probably made around 1776.
And the reason for that is, here on the soundboard, it has roses.
Rose Bertin, who was the maker of all of the French costumes for the court, kind of set the fashion for the period, so 1776 was the year of the rose.
You often find this on these French instruments, they have an association with a particular year.
The soundboard is painted in the royal workshops, probably, by some of the best painters of the period.
Here on the front of the instrument, this is a replacement, but originally, this would have had the French coat of arms-- the fleur-de-lis.
So we know it's a royal harp.
It was made for one of the royal family.
These fleurs-de-lis were taken off after the revolution, because it was illegal to hold them.
It has its original feet down here.
It's very unusual to find the original feet.
These are the pedals that are responsible for raising the pitch on the strings through the, through the hook mechanism.
There's a whole complicated mechanism that goes from here, up the center of the pillar, into the console.
I can't get it open.
If we could get it open, we might see that there's a name of the owner inside or some other details that will enable us to date it even better.
So it needs a little bit more discovery to find out more about it, but basically, it's fabulous example.
And it does have some of its original strings.
And the value of it today would be $60,000.
(laughing): Oh, wow.
That's a lot.
(laughs) Has this blanket been in your family for long?
Uh, yes, it has been.
At least 50 years.
It came from a great-uncle who traveled to Arizona and he purchased it.
I knew it was a Navajo, but I didn't know whether it was a rug or a blanket.
Okay, well, it is a Navajo blanket, and it's called a third-phase chief's blanket.
And it's actually a variant of a third-phase chief's blanket, because of the crosses.
With Navajo blankets, a first-phase blanket would just have the horizontal stripes going all the way across.
A second-phase would put a block in through the stripes at the corners and through the center, and then third-phase blankets would start to close off the way this cross closes off up here.
It was probably woven in the 1870s.
And what makes it particularly beautiful is the different reds in it.
There's many variations in the dyes.
It's probably a raveled wool.
The darker reds here were probably dyed with a cochineal.
And then there's some lighter reds that are possibly commercial dyes.
The beautiful blues are an indigo dye.
And then your white and brown are natural homespun.
Have you ever had anybody look at it or give you an appraisal of it?
Yes, I had a local appraiser take a look at it.
Did they tell you how much it was worth?
She said about $2,500.
Okay, well, she was a little off the mark.
It's an unusual weaving in that it is a variant pattern, and it's so bold.
I think at auction, would bring probably $35,000 to $45,000.
Oh, my goodness.
WOMAN: They come down in the family-- my father's side of the family.
They were given to my mother when she married my father.
And I have a photograph of them dancing shortly after their wedding, uh, with my mother wearing the necklace and the brooch.
The, uh, Beau brooch, which is diamond and platinum, this dates around 1900, 1905.
This is what we typically refer to as an Edwardian period piece.
And many of the indicating styles of Edwardian jewelry is that it's very open, it's lacy, it has this very soft look to it with the design.
And with the necklace here, this I would call a transitional piece.
The reason being is that the pearl section here is very typical of the Edwardian period.
Yet, as we move down towards the central area, there are these very definite chevron and geometric designs that are associated with the Art Deco period, which is typically from about 1920s to 1930s.
So, we've got a transitional piece from about 1915.
So it's a nice combination of almost Deco, almost Edwardian.
But the one thing that I found most interesting when I looked at these under the magnification is who the maker was, and what is nice about this is that with a very good piece of jewelry, a piece is signed, and if we turn this over on the back here, and we take a look right here on the clasp, the piece is signed "Cartier."
I never knew that they signed jewelry.
And on the opposite side, it's signed "Paris."
So the piece comes from Paris; it's made by Cartier.
And the nice addition to that is, well, the brooch is also by Cartier.
So you have two beautiful Cartier pieces.
Does this fit into any of your family history that you know of?
Yes, an earlier ancestor was an ambassador to Paris.
So it's quite likely that it comes from what would have been a great-great-grandfather.
Living in Paris.
Well, I think this would be appropriate for his wife to go dancing in Paris.
Certainly during this time period.
And for the value on a piece like this, you know, these are the types of items that collectors are very, very interested in.
I would say for insurance purposes, on the necklace, I would have a value of this between $60,000 and $90,000.
For the necklace.
And for the brooch, between $15,000 and $20,000.
So the insurance value for these two items together would be between $75,000 and $110,000.
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And I brought with me this picture which was given to my family, who are, are farmers, and their city cousins traded this picture for manure.
And I'm telling you, I don't think it's worth much more than what their trade was, but they did say it was $500 worth, so that's a heck of a lot of manure.
And we brought this Madonna from the 1870s that traveled from Spain to Chile to here, and it's only worth $300, but I got to spend the day with my son... And I saw some stuff explode.
Yeah, some people dropped some things, but we didn't!
But she made me wear this, and I'm just glad that I found out it really is a necklace and not some kind of decorative lamp shade cover or something.
So, you know, I'm thinking that worked out well.
And I had a chair appraised today.
This belonged to a relative of President Hoover, and it's worth between $300 and $400.
And I paid five dollars at an estate sale and it's worth $1,200 to $1,500.
I'm very happy.
We didn't have anything real valuable.
This is about $150 and we had a great time.
It's so much fun coming here.
And if you want me to, why...
I can play something here.
I think it's out of tune.
PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."