♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: Come along as "Antiques Roadshow" visits Grand Rapids, Michigan.
As far as furniture goes, especially from the early part of the 20th century, this is about as good as it gets.
I like them a lot.
(tinkling) ♪ ♪ PEÑA: In 2008, "Antiques Roadshow" visited Grand Rapids, Michigan, also known as Furniture City.
Back then, we discovered incredible jewelry...
This is all handmade.
PEÑA: ...puzzling publications... APPRAISER: But when you look over here, what do you see?
MAN: I think that's California depicted as an island.
You're absolutely right.
PEÑA: ...and you guessed it, furniture.
It's beautiful, it's rare.
But what's really amazing about this piece is its condition.
PEÑA: We'll reveal if the value of these finds went up, down, or stayed the same on this fresh look at Grand Rapids, hour two.
MAN: I inherited it from a friend.
It's a cold air return, which is supposedly out of the Henry O. Havemeyer house in Brooklyn, New York.
Do you know who Henry O. Havemeyer was?
A sugar baron?
And do you know who made this?
I believe it was Tiffany.
In the early 1890s, his firm, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, undertook the interior decoration of the Havemeyer home-- but it wasn't in Brooklyn.
It was on Fifth Avenue and 66th Street.
It became a very, very lavish home, beautiful interior, all decorated by Tiffany, in order to house the Havemeyer art collection.
What you have here is a Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company cold air return cover.
The reason why it looks particularly beautiful today is that we have put light behind it, which you wouldn't ordinarily see in the shaft where the piece was initially installed.
Tiffany decorated the hallways and every part of the interior of the home.
And the hallways were pretty lavish.
The palette was blue, green, silver, gold.
And this is what we call chain mail decoration, and if you look, there are little chains in between the little pieces of Tiffany glass, which are, like, a light blue opalescent.
Mr. Havemayer died, and then Mrs. Havemayer died in 1929.
And in the 1930s, the house was slated to be demolished.
But before it was to be demolished, there was auctions of the contents of the house and a lot of the architectural elements, such as this.
I noticed on the back that there are some supporting beams, and those look as though they may have been added to support the piece.
This is, like, a Tiffany artifact.
And collectors are very excited when they can have pieces like this.
And they are few and far between.
If this were to sell in a retail shop, it could easily sell for between $45,000 and $50,000.
WOMAN: My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas of '95 or '96.
We were living in Colorado at the time.
She carried it out on a plane, and when I opened it on Christmas Day, there was a note with it that just said, "I think this might be good."
Other than that, she just smiled.
She got this little smile on her face.
And never told me anything else about it.
And unfortunately, she died in 1998.
So there's no way I can ask her anything about this now.
Well, mothers know best.
I think so.
The piece you have is a Gallé pitcher, made in France.
And Émile Gallé was one of the world-class designers and glassmakers.
A big name in the industry.
And this piece is made about 1884.
It's one of his early, early works.
It has all the bells and whistles.
We can see here this medallion, or cartouche, and it has a full-figured knight on a horse.
The enameling is all fired-on enameling, and it's overall enameling in a Persian design.
This work is similar to a couple other great makers of glass, Harrach and Lobmeyr.
But this happens to be a Gallé piece.
And we have the full marking of the Gallé mark, France déposé.
It's a wonderful piece.
We all at our table thought it was just... Fabulous, so excited!
(laughs) And it's in wonderful condition.
Where did you display this piece in your home?
You don't want to know.
Oh, I do.
(laughs) I have high cathedral ceilings in the bathroom in my master bedroom.
And there's, like, a shelf, up very, very high.
It takes a ladder to get up there, so I put it up there, in the...
In the bathroom.
In the bathroom.
And then I had to blow dust out of it to bring it here.
(both laugh) Well, it's worth $8,000 to $10,000 retail.
Are you kidding?
I'm not kidding.
It's a wonderful piece.
I can't believe this, I mean... (gasps) I'm, I, I, I'm just thrilled for you.
Thrilled for you.
(voice breaking): I really, really can't believe it.
I guess it won't stay in the bathroom anymore!
(both laugh) WOMAN: These were wedding gifts to my parents, Uh, 1948.
APPRAISER: Oh, wow.
And my parents were, uh, from New York, and both working in Manhattan at the time.
We've always had them in our homes.
Uh, I moved them several times, but I didn't know this was a famous artist till I watched "Antiques Roadshow"... Oh!
...and they showed a Bierstadt painting.
And I have two of those downstairs in a box.
And do you have them hanging now?
This one has been hanging, this one not.
Both of these are signed "A.
Bierstadt was German-born, he lived from 1830 to 1902.
He's probably best known for his Western subjects.
His magnificent views of the Rockies and so on.
Of course, he's represented in almost every major institution in America.
He also painted, however, in Europe, where he was from, as well as the East Coast and even the Caribbean.
Date-wise, these are probably 1860s to 1870.
The painting on the left is quite characteristic of what we expect of the artist, the way the trees are done, as well as the great, luminous quality of the sky.
You also notice there's a lot of nice texture in the sky.
The one closest to me is much more unusual.
Bierstadt rarely did seascapes, and this probably is an East Coast scene, and we're not sure about the other one.
They might both be East Coast subjects.
Now, what's very interesting about this artist is that often his paintings were signed by other people.
Sometimes family members after he died, and in terms of your pieces, both of them are signed "A.
The A and B are conjoined, which is very typical of what he did.
However, the signatures on both are really rather large for the overall composition, and a little bit stilted in terms of the way they're done.
So it's my feeling that there's a possibility that these might have been signed by a family member as opposed to by Bierstadt himself.
And when we run across paintings like this, we often like to have them researched by the experts.
And there is a catalogue raisonné project which is being put together by a gallery in Santa Fe.
And then there are also two major scholars who have been working on the artist for quite a long time.
And so if we were going to sell these, or were we, place an insurance value on them, we would want to show them to those experts.
They both are really in nice condition.
I think they're somewhat dirty, and e... Yeah.
Especially in the seascape, you'll note here in the upper left, there's a bright blue color.
If this were cleaned, the sky would be that color.
These are frames that are characteristic of the late 1940s and '50s.
They are not original to the paintings, but they would have been from around the time that your parents got them.
The period, yeah.
Now, in terms of value, have you had any thoughts?
When I discovered that this was a noted artist, I did try to search for them online.
Similar sizes ranged anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 or $7,000.
Well, Bierstadt was fairly prolific, and especially for these oil sketches.
But Bierstadt is extremely popular as an artist, and if in fact they are Bierstadt, the piece on the left, because of the luminosity and the size and also the, the landscape feature, a gallery would probably ask somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000.
The seascape... That's surprising.
(laughs) The seascape is more unusual, and it's probably more in the perhaps $15,000 range.
Um, but if we find out, for any reason, that they are not by Bierstadt, then the value could be very minimal.
Each of them would be under $1,000.
So it's quite a difference, and well worth doing the research to verify the authenticity...
...and also to verify the subject.
Quite a difference from the $125 price tag on the back.
(both laugh) WOMAN: We're told it's gold, so I'm assuming it's a gold headpiece.
And the women in those days would put on this gold headpiece, and then the lace cap would go over it.
Now, you wanted to know if it's gold.
I tested it.
It is high-karat gold.
The two medallions are done in red gold.
That's more copper in the gold.
And then they overlay it with the small little other flo, florets in another color gold.
So there's a lot of work on this.
To have somebody sit down and make this today would be, uh, practically impossible.
This should be insured somewhere about $8,000 to $10,000.
(chuckles) You ever wear this?
No, I never have.
Shame on you!
(laughs) WOMAN: I got them from my great-grandfather on my stepdad's side.
He used to own a shoe shop in Battle Creek.
He repaired, sold, and made shoes.
Well, these are really showstoppers.
They're very unusual, because most of the shoes you see made in this time period, which is around 1890 to 1900, most of them are black.
And yours are in this really outstanding purple silk and cream-colored leather.
And they're also in great condition to be this age.
On the bottom of these shoes, they are marked, and they're marked "New York."
If they were just black and leather, they'd probably be somewhere around $75 to $100.
But yours, because of the color combination, and the condition, and the fact they're made out of silk, as well as leather, a pair of these recently sold at auction for $460.
Oh, wow, that's...
So that's a lot, actually, for a pair of shoes, yes.
That's a lot for a pair of shoes.
MAN: About 20 years ago, an elderly lady friend of my wife gave it to me as a gift, because she knew I enjoyed books and that I could read German.
I really know very little about it, except that I know that it's a German atlas from the 1700s.
APPRAISER: Right, 1737 is the date.
And it was published in Nuremberg.
It's the work of Johann Baptist Homann.
Homann was one of the most important map engravers and publishers in Germany at this period.
And the thing that makes this unusual, it's not your everyday atlas-- it's a celestial atlas.
All the color here on these pages was applied by hand, at great expense and lots of labor.
One very unusual feature of it is the ink that's used on these stars.
Every single star is illuminated in gold.
This is a representation of the northern sky, with all the familiar constellations.
Ursa Major, the Great Bear.
Leo, the Lion.
They're beautifully engraved, and then enhanced by the application of all these delicate shades of watercolor.
It's very characteristic of German coloring from this period.
Here's the Great Bear, looking particularly fierce.
And they're just exquisitely portrayed.
And for its time, 1737, this was a very modern, scientific atlas.
Let's look at something else.
It looks like a normal representation of the globe.
But when you look over here, what do you see?
I think that's California depicted as an island.
You're absolutely right.
And that was a testimony to the fact that the exploration of the Earth was still going on in 1737.
A lot of people were convinced that you could sail around California.
Now, I can give you an idea of what an auction estimate would be.
I think it would be $8,000 to $12,000.
And it would be a little higher, but there's some staining at the back.
If you did remove the plate, some of these would sell for as much as $2,000 apiece.
So the sum of the parts would be greater than an overall appraisal might yield.
Is that right?
But I hope you don't break it up.
Thank you, it's wonderful.
Thanks for bringing it in.
Well, about three years ago, maybe four years ago, we bought the house of the son of the founder of Herman Miller Company, Hugh De Pree.
And a neighbor came by and she said that she was selling some Herman Miller bedroom furniture.
So we bought a whole bedroom set, with end tables and a vanity and a couple of shelves.
And this was one of the pieces in the set.
The house was designed by George Nelson in 1946, uh, for Hugh De Pree, so we thought George Nelson furniture would be great in this house.
APPRAISER: Well, 1946 is actually quite early.
'Cause George Nelson is just beginning to get started, replacing Gilbert Rohde, who died, as the design director at Herman Miller.
Your chest here was designed in 1946, introduced at the, uh, Grand Rapids Summer Market in July 1947.
And the first catalogue that it appears in, I think, is 1948.
And it was in production for at least ten years.
Available for purchase right up until about 1958, 1959.
It was a really versatile series of pieces.
And the drawers could vary, so you could have smaller drawers.
The depth of the case would always be the same, right at about 18 inches.
And you had the option of either ordering it on legs, as your piece has... Uh-huh.
...or brushed chrome legs, or you could have no legs at all, and it would sit on a bench system, which was a very kind of new concept in furnishings beginning after the Second World War.
Very indicative of postwar furniture.
It was great for smaller households.
Nice aluminum handles on it.
The wood is primavera.
Nice, pristine example.
This one is not rare, but an absolutely wonderful example of the piece, still with the Herman Miller decal.
The decal would put it at mid-1950s-- they stopped this label in about 1956.
And just a wonderful, pristine example.
How much did you pay for it?
Well, the lady who sold it to us, her uncle worked at Herman Miller and gave her this set.
And so she knew what Herman Miller furniture was worth, so she charged us $1,500 for this piece.
Modest retail value would be in the neighborhood of $1,200 to $1,500.
WOMAN: I inherited them from my Aunt Geri and Uncle Ralph, and they were a very wealthy, uh, couple.
They didn't have any children.
They did a lot of world travel, and when they passed away, I got the Little Pigs.
How long have you had these Little Pigs?
Probably 20 years.
"Three Little Pigs" was a 1933 film, and it won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Short, Cartoon.
It's a classic Walt Disney film.
And these were made to market with the success of the film.
I thought that maybe they might be Steiff, because they came from Germany.
And you saw the "Made in Germany" on the boxes and...
They're not Steiff, but they're another company from Germany that's just as interesting as Steiff.
It's Schuco-- you can see here at the base of the foot, it says "Schuco."
Schuco was a company from Nuremberg.
They started making toys in about 1915.
They made teddy bears.
They also made a lot of wind-up toys.
And by the '30s, they made these great Three Little Pigs.
We have Fifer Pig on the end there.
We have Fiddler Pig in the middle.
And do you know the name of this guy?
He's Practical Pig.
Now, Practical Pig was the pig that had the brick house that the wolf couldn't blow down.
And in the movies, Practical Pig plays a piano, but it would be hard for the toy producers to manufacture a piano.
So they turned Practical Pig into a drummer.
The other great thing is the fact that you have all the original boxes, and the corners are crisp, the labels are perfect.
All the original keys are there, too.
They're just in exceptional condition.
The set at auction would be $2,000 to $2,500.
Let's wind one of these guys up.
(tinkling) (chuckles) They're cute, they're very cute.
I like them a lot.
WOMAN: That belonged to my grandmother.
Uh, she worked for a wealthy businessman down in Kalamazoo, and, uh, she was his housekeeper and cook.
And, uh, in the harder times, during the Depression, he started paying her with some of his items from the home.
So this is one of those items.
APPRAISER: It's marked "Handel."
The Handel family in Meriden, Connecticut, from the late 19th into the early 20th century, made a very wide range of very high-quality Tiffany-style and other lamps of that period.
Now, this one is just referred to as a scenic overlay.
Really good patination, in good shape, a wonderful look.
Uh, any idea of value?
I think an easy auction estimate would be $4,000 to $6,000.
Oh, very nice.
Okay, very good.
Very nice, thank you.
And thanks very much for bringing it.
WOMAN: My grandma and grandpa came over in 1939 from Vienna, Austria.
My mother was seven years old at the time.
And of course, my mom wasn't allowed to play with it, and I wasn't allowed to play with it.
And my grandma died in 1988.
And at that time, I got the clock.
This is what's called a, a ball watch or a desk clock.
And it was designed to sit on a gentleman's desk.
There are a lot of these around.
It's actually Swiss-made, sometime around the turn of the century, 1900.
But what makes this one a really special one is the complications that it has on it.
It has the month... Mm-hmm.
...the day of the month, the day of the week, and also, it tells you the lunar calendar, or the phases of the moon.
In addition to that, it tells you the time on the side.
But what's really special about it is the fact that it has the time in seven cities across the globe.
It's a very unusual feature to have this type of dial on the back of it.
In terms of value, if it just had a standard dial, these are pretty easy to sell in the $600 price range.
Because of the complications on the front of it, it's probably a $1,200 or $1,500 watch.
But because of the information that's given on the back...
...it's probably a watch that you'd see in a retail shop for around $2,500.
Wow, I love it!
WOMAN: About 25 years ago, my husband and I were asked to go to Colorado to clean out an aunt's home, who had come back here to the state to be with family because she was in her 90s.
And we were asked just to bring personal items.
So we packed up small things we thought she might have enjoyed through her life, and dresses and purses and that kind of stuff.
When we got it back here, she said, "What am I going to do with all of this?
"I don't want it.
You take it," and then we thought, well, what are we gonna do with all this stuff?
So we took it back to our home, and one of the purses, it, just a old plastic purse, had a lot of what I hope was just costume jewelry, and we just kind of pitched that.
And I hope I didn't throw out a big jewel.
But in the bottom of that purse was this chain.
And it's a watch fob, I believe, and I don't know anything more about it.
Well, you're right about that.
Now, this chain had to have a fabulous watch on it.
You said you noticed a mark over here.
Right inside of here, what did you see?
Right-- it is, in fact, 14-karat yellow gold.
A beautiful old watch fob chain, probably from the late 1800s.
This is all handmade.
Now, you take metal, you draw it down and make it round.
You take it, you roll it out, you make it flat for these sections.
You cut it out, you pierce it, you knurl the edges-- even the piece here, the, for the bar that hangs down for the watch fob.
You said it-- fabulous.
The watch would hang off of this swivel.
The swivel opens and closes.
And then this piece is where you would have another fob hanging down.
Sometimes a seal.
Sometimes a, a pocket knife or something like that.
It weighs 60 pennyweights.
Now, that's a measurement we use to measure gold.
There's 20 pennyweights in a Troy ounce.
So here we have three Troy ounces.
Now, if you went someplace at today's gold price and you were just going to scrap this out, you have $1,600 just of scrap gold.
But this isn't the kind of thing you would sell like that.
This piece today, at auction, I would say $4,000 to $6,000.
We could have thrown it right out with the purse, wow, wow.
(chuckles) It belonged to my family, my mom and dad.
I'm sorry, I don't know when they purchased it, and I don't know what they paid for it.
I've always enjoyed it.
It's been hanging in my living room in a dark corner for the last ten or 12 years.
Did you know who the artist was?
No, not until two days ago, when my husband and I decided to bring the painting.
He lifted it off the wall in the living room, took it out to a brighter spot, and noticed a signature.
I can barely see it, it's quite dark.
Well, there is a signature, "M.
And it's the signature of Mathias Alten.
He was born in 1871 in Gusenburg, Germany, and started out as a young man as an apprentice to a painter.
He moved to Grand Rapids and he painted signs, he decorated furniture.
And in his late 20s, he went and studied in France and Italy.
And his academic career really paralleled that of a lot of artists of his generation.
Although abstract art was introduced to America in about 1913, he clearly rejected that.
And his career was spent as a second-generation Impressionist.
He painted still lifes and portraits, but his great love was for nature and landscapes.
And his landscapes often include either rustic figures or animals.
He painted briefly in Old Lyme, Connecticut, but he did a lot of his work in Grand Rapids and Saugatuck.
What we see here is oil on canvas, and that was the artist's preferred medium.
One thing I wanted to point out here was this condition issue on the right-hand side, where there's a couple of areas of paint loss.
And this is something that you might want to have attended to in order to sort of stabilize that area so that you don't lose more paint.
I also think this picture could really benefit from a cleaning, because you have these beautiful bands of color in the water and the sky, and all of this will become much more vibrant.
And I think at some point, it was reframed.
I think if this were offered at a retail gallery, the asking price might be between $20,000 and $25,000.
Oh, I'm... Oh, my goodness, I'm speechless.
(laughs): If I liked those cows before, I love them now!
WOMAN: What I brought is a "Dick Tracy" original cartoon.
Chester Gould is the artist.
And the story is that my husband's grandmother worked for "The Chicago Daily News."
And when she got married, she left the "Daily News," and this is one of the cartoons that was personalized for the grandma.
And as you said, Chester Gould is the artist.
It's a "Dick Tracy," what they call a daily strip, because this was done on a daily basis for the newspaper.
The important thing when it comes to comic art is the artist and the character.
And what you're dealing with here is Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy," one of the most famous, famous comic strips in American history.
It first appeared in October of 1931, and Chester Gould went out and created a crime fighter during the height of Chicago gang wars, and Al Capone, et cetera.
So the strip itself is, is great because you have the important artist and the important character.
The next thing that's very important is the condition.
The critical thing, as far as condition goes, is, you do have a piece torn off the side where Gould additionally signed.
That little piece being torn off can be professionally restored.
So that's not a major factor.
You have a paste-over, which is not uncommon in comic strips.
When they wanted to change the script, they would just paste over a little word, because when it came, became printed, it wouldn't make a difference.
If you look up in the top corner, it's dated August 13, but nowhere on the strip do we see the little paper label that was attached that usually tells you the year.
And after doing some research, I found that this was done August 13, 1932.
Now, "Dick Tracy" appeared first in October of '31, and from 1931, there's quite a number of these dailies on the market and known to exist.
From 1932 and then a couple of years after that, there's no examples of these being known.
For all anybody knows, these were lost, destroyed, damaged, forgotten.
Nobody's seen any of them.
So what you have here is probably one of the only 1932 dailies that's in existence.
In doing the research, I found that the day before and the day after, you had additional characters.
This one has Dick Tracy in the panels.
The day before and the day after had Tess, his, his love interest in the strip, which would have added to the value.
You also don't have a tremendous villain in here.
Villains add a lot to the value.
But all of that being said, you're talking about basically something that's coming onto the market that nobody even knows is in existence.
And I would estimate it, for auction purposes, pretty conservatively at $3,000 to $5,000.
Oh, my goodness.
For the one... Yeah.
Well, thank you.
My goodne-- I had no idea.
MAN: My grandfather left it for me.
APPRAISER: You know what it is?
I have a feeling it's Native American, but that's about all I know.
I expect that it's Sioux or Cheyenne.
It's an incredible pipe.
I mean, these guys, they didn't have anything till they got horses from the Spanish, and then they became the most powerful culture on the Plains.
And so horses were real important to 'em.
This has got to be one of the most elegant, beautiful horse pipes I've ever seen.
What the pipe's made out of is catlinite, and catlinite has always been the top material for stone pipes from the Plains.
Probably dates to the Indian Wars, the 1870s, maybe a little earlier.
And I guess you want to know what it's worth.
I, I, well, I knew you were excited about it, so that got me excited.
(laughs) Yeah, $4,000 to $6,000.
You got left something really important and really beautiful.
It's like a piece of sculpture.
Oh, it's beautiful, I love it.
It's more than just a pipe.
WOMAN: It was my grandmother's, and I just grew up with it.
And when she passed on, she left it to me.
Well, it's a very famous artist.
His name is Alphonse Mucha.
In fact, he's the father of the Art Nouveau movement, and his art defined that entire style.
And this is really one of his classic images based on a series he did in 1897 called the "Byzantine Heads."
This was another series of heads that he did based on flowers and vegetation.
Now, it's actually one of two pieces.
There was a matching head that went along with it.
She being the blonde, the other one would have been a brunette.
One of the things that really represents his work is the halo around the woman's head.
Also, if you notice in the background, he really made it look like an old mosaic.
The swirling of her hair, the intricacy of the veins on the flowers-- all of these were signature elements of his style.
Now, it's unfortunate the frame got broken, but it actually makes no difference to the value of the piece.
The value of the piece itself, in any frame, is between $7,000 and $10,000.
WOMAN: I was watching "Antiques Roadshow," and in the Feedback Booth, a gentleman stated that he found out his Édouard Cortès was a fake and a light bulb went off.
And I ran downstairs, and sure enough, this painting that had been hanging on our wall for 40 years said "Édouard Cortès."
And who was it who owned it originally?
Was it your parents?
And they were both artists.
They were both painters.
And did they paint in Paris at all, do you know?
I don't believe so-- they vacationed there.
They brought home things that they liked and enjoyed, so... What do you know about the artist?
I just found his bio on the internet, and he was best known for his Parisian street scenes.
He was born in 1882 and died in 1969.
So you've done your research, I commend you.
That's absolutely correct.
He was born quite near, near to Paris.
His father, in fact, was a Spanish court painter, and the artist was based in Paris, and that's where he would have painted this.
And he made Paris pretty much his subject matter from about 1900 onwards, till, until his death.
Some people have criticized him in the past for being perhaps a little too prolific and, and even formulaic, because many of his paintings are exactly this kind of subject.
Now, there is a way that can help us to identify whether in fact it is by the artist.
Do, do you know what that is?
No, I don't.
What he used to do was, he would take a little pin and he would stick it in the canvas.
And he would do that to establish the vanishing point, to determine the perspective in, in, in the painting and in the drawing.
So let's see if we can find a little pinhole.
Yeah, a little pinprick right here.
So it could be good news.
Do you see that?
Yes, I do.
I thought it was a flaw.
If you look at the lines, they all converge and come to this point.
Now, that, of course, is not conclusive.
There's a gallery in New York and there's another gentleman who will authenticate his works.
But I think there's no question that this work is, in fact, by Édouard Cortès.
And we do see a lot of them that aren't right-- it's very well done.
You've got these wonderful light sources.
You see the reflections on, on the, the road in the foreground.
He worked on similarly sized canvases.
This one's about 18x22-- he did smaller ones.
For an 18x22-inch canvas, at auction, that should be worth $30,000 to $50,000.
You've got to be kidding me.
$30,000 to $50,000?
$30,000 to $50,000.
I would feel very confident in saying that.
And in fact... That's...
...I would expect it to make probably the upper, the upper reaches of that estimate, $40,000 or $50,000.
That's absolutely wonderful.
(chuckles) That's really exciting.
I hope those are tears of joy, by the way.
(chuckling): They are tears of joy!
(laughs) MAN: I think in about 1977, a friend of mine and I went to New York City to visit her aunt and uncle.
I played the piano for everybody.
And the next day, they said, "We have this violin "that's been in our family forever, "and you look like you really care about music.
"There's no one here to take care of it, so we want you to have it."
So they just gave you this violin... That's... ...after you played for them.
And did these two bows come with it?
I don't know anything about the bows.
I have found the maker on the internet.
I know there's a label inside.
I know that the maker was making violins at the right time, because there's a date on the label.
That's about all I know.
I know it's made out of maple.
Well, you're right, the back of the violin is maple.
The label inside is absolutely accurate.
It says "Robert Glier, Cincinnati, 1880."
He was a maker who trained in Markneukirchen, Germany.
Markneukirchen is one of the big centers of violin making in the world.
It was up until the time of World War II.
He came to the United States sometime before 1880, and he settled in Cincinnati, and opened up a shop there.
He used an extra piece of thicknessing along here in the peg box.
He had obviously done a lot of repairs and knew that the peg box cracked a lot.
Okay, I was wondering why that was there, because I've never seen that on another violin.
Right, I think that this was an example of American ingenuity improving a traditional instrument by putting extra wood in.
Now, the bows I find to be really interesting, especially this first bow.
Were you told anything about it at all?
Uh, no, absolutely nothing at all.
I did bring it into a shop once, and I got offered $2,000.
Okay, so that was in... And just because it came out of him so fast... Mm-hmm.
...you know, "I'll give you $2,000 for that"... (chuckling): ...I, I figured, well, I better not.
Most bows have a, a brand right in this area.
And this particular bow has no markings that identify the maker.
But the button, which is what tightens the hair, is very distinctive.
And it's absolutely typical of the maker H.R.
Pfretzschner studied in France.
He was one of Germany's great makers.
He was given the title of musical instrument maker to the king of Saxony, in fact... Wow.
...he was so good.
And I can easily identify this as being his work, and it's in beautiful, beautiful condition.
The other interesting thing is, this bow maker was from Markneukirchen, Germany, the same city that this violin maker was from.
So my hunch is that they had some sort of a collegial relationship.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
The second bow really doesn't have any value, and I would not recommend that you even spend money fixing it up.
So the violin, being a good, solid, American violin, is probably worth, in the retail market, $3,000 as is.
And after you do all the repairs-- strings, and clean it up, do some varnish work on it-- it would probably be worth $4,000.
The bow, however, alone would be worth $4,000.
Oh, wow, okay.
WOMAN: In the early '70s, my aunt actually gave me those for Christmas as a gift, and explained to me that they originally had been cufflinks that my grandfather was given by the tsar in Russia.
My family is Latvian, we came here in the 1950s, early '50s, and my grandfather actually worked in Russia for a while in the early 1900s.
And evidently, the tsar gave gifts to the people who did work for him.
It was common, but an honor, to be given a gift by the tsar of Russia.
The tradition of gift-giving was a significant and important one in Imperial Russia, and still remains so today.
And any number of people who did some significant service for the imperial government might have received a gift.
And the double-headed Russian imperial eagle was the symbol of the government.
But presumably he didn't give earrings to your grandfather.
The story is, my aunt changed it into earrings.
And did she wear them?
No, she gave them to me, and I wore them.
That's a very common thing-- pieces get converted.
In this particular case, there is evidence, in fact, of the conversion.
If you turn them over, you'll see where the backs would have been attached.
There are some incised numbers on the back that are very difficult to see, but are typically the inventory numbers of the maker.
Oftentimes, these numbers are obscured by dirt over the years.
So they're, they can be very difficult to see, even under magnification.
As a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, these could have been made any time during his reign from 1894 to the downfall in 1917.
Most likely they were made around 1905, 1910.
But the original backs are gone, which may have had additional markings on it that would have given us the real info.
Even as earrings today, in the very form that they are now, I would say, uh, in a retail setting that they would be worth $5,000 to $7,000.
Wow, how wonderful.
If they, if they were converted back to cufflinks, it wouldn't be original condition, of course, as cufflinks.
But they would be closer to their original condition.
They would probably be worth $12,000 to $15,000.
Oh, my God.
I think that there's evidence on the back by the little numbers that they, in fact, were probably by the jeweler Carl Fabergé, the imperial jeweler of Russia.
Uh... Oh, my gosh.
And, in fact, uh, Tsar Nicholas II kept a little book of his own collection of cufflinks.
And we could compare it to that to see if anything like that appears.
But one would have to study them a little more carefully.
As Fabergé cufflinks, even converted, in a retail setting, they would probably be sold for $40,000 to $50,000.
(laughing): Oh, my God.
(laughing): I'll probably take better care of them now.
(both laughing) I purchased it about three or four years ago from a friend of mine who was, uh, cleaning out his house.
The minute I saw it in the corner of the room, I was just, my eyes immediately went to it, and I just thought it was spectacular.
APPRAISER: So what did you pay for it?
I paid $100.
I think this is an amazing work of art and truly one of the better examples of folk art carving that I've seen.
It has suffered a little bit, there's some losses, but my thought is that it's so complex and so imaginatively carved, with the serpent and this little cottage with red glass windows.
It's just splendid.
So I think the damage doesn't matter at all.
This cane in the marketplace is, my opinion, worth probably in the area of about, let's say, $5,000.
It's just terrific.
That's, that's amazing.
Well, you, you were in the right place at the right time, I'd say.
I was, absolutely.
So when did you acquire this piece?
About ten years ago.
Okay, and what do you know about it?
Um, it's, it's large and very impressive.
It's a Chinese rose medallion bowl, um, decorated for the West.
So the American market, the English market.
Um, there's typical Chinese motifs to the interior.
There's long-tailed birds to the interior.
There's ladies and figures at leisure.
It's what the Chinese thought the Americans thought of the Chinese.
Um, the bowl is probably 1820, probably out of Canton.
It would have gone to the West.
And these mounts, the brass mounts, are a later addition-- it's probably 1920s.
So it was a simple bowl, and then it became a mounted jardinière.
That's added value to the piece.
Um, and as an insurance value, I would put $3,000 on it.
But it's a lovely bowl.
Oh, thank you.
WOMAN: My husband bought them in England in 1944.
Here, you brought today the receipt when he bought these plates.
And I love to have old documentation on things like that.
There's a description.
It says, "Six China plates, "pierced rim, white with gold, turquoise band, Landseer subject."
And he paid a little over 31 pounds.
We can see that they're all entirely hand-painted.
This is really high-quality hand-painted work.
Uh, three of them have dogs, which is a very desirable subject.
And two of them have bucks.
Which is also a good subject.
And then one here is, like, a pastoral scene, with a wagon and horses.
Yes, that's my favorite.
When these plates were bought by your husband, they were antique.
They were actually made in the 1870s.
And sold when they were new by Thomas Goode.
And then they entered the marketplace, were owned by some family.
And then Thomas Goode bought them back and resold them again in 1944, which is really interesting that they owned them twice.
Also on the bottom is a blue painted pattern number, and then a s, another red mark with a number of a plate.
Now, these plates were from a whole series done by Minton.
And all these plates were after paintings by Sir Edwin Landseer.
Oh, that's interesting.
Landseer died in 1873, and during his lifetime, he was a really famous and prominent British painter of especially dogs and game-type subjects.
And they were licensed to copy his paintings on plates.
Now, one of the plates, I understand, got broken.
I put it in a plate hanger, and it was bumped, and chipped.
And they told me in the States that they didn't have the right gold to repair it.
So when we went to England on our 50th wedding anniversary, I took it back to Thomas Goode and Company, and they repaired it.
And they did an excellent job.
The repair is across here on the top.
But it's really hard to see.
So it's a really well-done repair.
I understand that you had to pay 120 pounds to have that one repaired, which was a lot more than you paid for the whole set in the first place.
Yes, it was worth it.
Well, these places are really desirable.
in today's marketplace.
A retail price is usually between $1,000 and $1,500 each.
For the ones in perfect condition.
And occasionally, in certain circumstances, it might be a bit more.
So you've got five perfect plates-- for the set of five in perfect condition, the total would be between $5,000 and $7,500.
(murmurs) Plus, you have one additional plate that's damaged and restored well, and that plate would probably be about an additional $500.
So you've got a really valuable set here.
That's wonderful to hear.
I collect a lot of things that are Native American.
I like the jewelry, I like the clothing, and I love anything colorful.
I went to an estate sale, and it was at the sale, and I'd never seen anything like it.
This particular piece is all trade material.
And one of the early objects to come in was this blanket ground that this ribbon appliqué has been applied to.
The edging on the top is the selvage end of wool stroud.
And stroud actually comes from Stroud in England.
It's a very dense wool, and it's easy for the Native Americans to have worked with.
They could cut into it and it wouldn't shred.
The ribbon started coming in early, also.
Silk ribbon became a trade item in the late 1700s, after the French Revolution, because there became a surplus-- it was no longer appropriate in clothing in France.
It was considered bourgeois.
So, the Americas got the surplus, so they started trading that in to the Natives, too.
The Native Americans adapted it into this lovely appliqué.
And it's been a tradition since.
Now, this blanket was created in the 1920s to '30s.
This piece is the work of Osage Indians, and it's a woman's blanket.
The Osage Indians, at the time of this piece was created, were living in Oklahoma.
This ribbon work is exquisite, with the cut-out and the designing on it.
It's a little hard to tell.
There were women working in the 1870s that were capable of stitching in a manner that almost mimicked machine.
I believe this is mostly machine-stitched with some additional hand work on it.
And it might have been done by the same women who were working and known in the '70s.
But that would take some work to compare.
The reason you're missing the ribbon at the bottom is because of the fragile nature.
So to see one in such good condition is really exciting.
What did you pay for it?
It was $200.
On today's market, in a retail setting, it would be worth $3,000 to $4,000.
So you've done well.
We purchased a summer cottage in 1975 from my wife's aunt and uncle.
Part of which was included was all the furnishings-- furniture and beds and kitchen utensils, the whole thing.
And this was one of the items that was in the cottage.
Recently, my sister and my brother-in-law came and visited, and my brother-in-law is kind of a master carpenter, I call him.
And he was taken by the lovely engraving there, whatever you call it.
And we looked in the back and saw that it had a, a stamp on it.
And so we found out that it was a Stickley.
So that's what we know about it.
This piece is a very exciting piece of furniture.
It was done by Gustav Stickley.
It's a very early Gustav Stickley stamp, about 1903.
But what's really interesting about this piece of furniture, what really is exciting about this piece of furniture, is the fact that it was designed by Harvey Ellis.
And Harvey Ellis only worked for Gustav Stickley for about seven or eight months.
He died in 1904.
And this is one of the pieces that he produced.
It has everything going on with it that you would like in a piece of Gustav Stickley, Harvey Ellis furniture.
It has this great inlay on the front.
It's made out of pewter, copper, fruitwood.
It has an arched toe board.
It's got a extra-long top.
It's also very tall.
This was built outside of Syracuse, New York, and it's a music cabinet.
And what it was used for, obviously, is to keep sheet music in.
You just don't see this stuff very often.
It's beautiful, it's rare.
But what's really amazing about this piece is its condition.
I've seen a number of Harvey Ellis pieces in my life, but the condition of this one is just immaculate.
The finish is original.
It's got this rich, dark, wonderful gloss to it, just like it was supposed to.
As far as furniture goes, especially from the early part of the 20th century, this is about as good as it gets.
It's a wonderful example of the Arts and Crafts movement of America.
And as far as value goes, at auction, this piece is worth probably $80,000 to $100,000.
$80,000 to $100,000?
It's a great piece of furniture.
(stammering): Why is, why is that?
Is it 'cause it's rare?
It's very rare.
We get a lot of Gustav Stickley at the show... Uh-huh.
But, but a piece of Harvey Ellis, especially in the condition that this one's in, is just really rare to get.
So what did you pay for your cabin in Michigan?
Uh, $27,000, and then $1,000 for the, all the furnishing.
So you paid $28,000 for everything all together?
This piece is probably worth three, four times what you paid for the cabin... Everything.
...and everything in it.
PEÑA: And now it's time for the Roadshow Feedback Booth.
I brought this chair that's been in my family for years, and I was treating it very gingerly until I found out it was only worth $100, and then I started dragging it around, but I had a really good time.
We got these dime store dolls from, uh, my mother and her grandmother.
And, uh, the appraiser told us they're worth ten bucks each.
Ten bucks each.
I'd like to thank the appraisers.
I'd like to thank the Roadshow.
And I'd especially like to thank the Academy.
I brought this ashtray, which has, uh, been in the family for 60 years, and it was from the liberation of Holland, and it was melted down from captured German, uh, equipment.
And, uh, the little guy is doing his business.
And I don't think, uh, after finding out it's worth about $800, that I'll ever look at him doing his business quite the same again.
I brought my grandfather's whiskey bottle collection.
480 miniature whiskey bottles that I can't sell, I learned today, because they have whiskey in them.
We found out that we will not have to glue this lovely young lady's husband back together again.
I brought my grandfather's guitar that he, which is a hand-me-down.
A Regal guitar, it's worth, uh, $600 to $700, and my Clash poster is worth a grand.
So thanks a lot, Roadshow!
Keep on rockin'!
PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."