This is remarkable.
I know of a couple in existence.
I've never seen one outside of the Hall of Fame or outside of a historical society.
I finally learned something, I love it.
Yes, you did!
♪ ♪ (sighs) APPRAISER: Well...
It's just fantastic!
(laugh) WALBERG: "Antiques Roadshow" has been delivering surprises for 22 seasons.
But perhaps our biggest surprise of all came after our visit to Nebraska in 2004.
After airing our Omaha episodes, our guests and "Roadshow" learned this Edgar Allan Poe daguerreotype had been stolen, and the FBI was tracking it down.
The photo eventually made its way back to its rightful owner, who sold it at auction.
Let's take a look at the appraisal which helped solve the mystery of the missing Poe in this fresh look at Omaha.
Well, I found it in Walnut, Iowa, town of about 750 people, in a little junk shop-slash- antique shop.
And just happened to like the image.
Took it home and thought it looked like something I had in one of my books, which...
I do daguerreotype research, and it looked very much like Edgar Allan Poe.
And were there any other photographs, or any other...?
There was a pile of boxes in a showcase.
And I went through a few of them.
Just thought this was interesting.
And what did you have to pay for it?
$96, including tax.
$96 including tax in Walnut, Iowa.
And you're right, it's a daguerreotype, and as you already know, it is a daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe.
Now, Poe was born in 1809, and he died in 1849, and you're a daguerreotype collector, right?
Yes, I am.
So when was the daguerreotype first introduced to America from France?
Oh, I'm sorry-- 1839.
You're okay-- 1839.
Only 100 years off.
So by when were daguerreotypes not being taken?
They slowed down in about 18... early '50s.
About mid-1850s, they were basically gone.
So Edgar Allan Poe, remember, died in 1849, so there's a ten-year period within the Daguerreian area of photography during which he could have had his picture taken.
There are only six Daguerreian portraits of Edgar Allan Poe known to exist.
And I want to point out, it's got a little damage on the face here.
Somebody has wiped that at one point, they put their finger on it and moved it across it, and as you know, as a daguerreotype collector, you never want to touch a daguerreotype plate.
You don't even blow on it.
You don't even blow on it.
Even with this damage, I would estimate this daguerreotype somewhere between-- and I'll be conservative, it could go for more-- probably somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000.
Because of who Poe was...
...and because of the scarcity of his portraiture.
Well, I'm thrilled.
(laughing) I liked the picture anyway, but now I really like it.
WOMAN: I acquired it from my mother, who died in '93, and I didn't know she had it until we were cleaning out her house.
And she got it from a lady whose house she inherited after taking care of this lady.
Well, whoever had this toy from the very beginning and up until now certainly didn't play with it too much.
It's extraordinary condition.
This is a Japanese toy.
And Japanese toys basically break down into three categories: what we call pre-war, which is pre-World War II...
And then post-war, which breaks down to occupied Japan, and non-occupied Japan.
Some of the rarest toys are, of course, the pre-war toys, and they're very collected and very desirable, and this is a pre-war toy.
You say, how do I know?
Well, it says "Made in Japan," so it's certainly not occupied Japan.
And then we just look at the general graphics of the box, and this kind of amazingly ornate graphic down here is very typical of pre-war Japanese toys.
What's extraordinary about this toy is the condition.
This is celluloid, which is very susceptible to melting and cracking and breaking.
Plus, you have paper, which is susceptible to staining, and then it still has the netting here that acts as a hinge for the canopy.
And of course, with all toys, what you really are looking for is the action.
(jingling) (laughs) And this one has a lot of action.
Now, I guess you'd want to know what it's worth.
Well, originally, it was worth about 49 cents.
49 cents, yeah.
That was probably in the late '30s.
This toy, I think in today's market, would easily bring $1,500 at auction.
Well, thank you.
So, and it's a real gem, and I just, I love it.
I love it.
(laughing): I do, too.
(jingling) What were they asking for it at the yard sale?
They were asking ten cents for it.
And you paid the whole ten cents.
I paid the whole ten cents.
There are a lot of oyster plates around.
Most of them, to be honest, aren't of any great value.
But when you see this mark, "UPW," it means it was made by a company called the Union Porcelain Works.
I think in a good auction today, this is going to bring about $300, maybe $350.
Now, if it didn't have this mark, it would be worth maybe $20 or $30.
Well, my grandfather had it made for him when he worked at the mental health institute in Trenton by one of the patients down there in 1893.
APPRAISER: There was a number of people, home craftsmen and skilled craftsmen, that made these.
This is what we would consider probably a mid-range example.
In terms of value, probably around $2,000, $2,500.
Falter was best known for his illustrations, and he did, I think, over 170 "Saturday Evening Post" ones.
This is off-topic, in being more of a 20th-century genre painting, rather than a straightforward illustration.
For insurance, I think we're looking at about $2,500.
That's tremendous, thank you very much!
You said you found this at a thrift shop?
Yeah, thrift shop.
In Lincoln, Nebraska.
And how long ago did you find this?
It's been about five years, probably.
And you bought it inexpensively, is that right?
Probably in the three-dollar range.
I thought I knew what it was when I saw it.
I thought it was a European vase, maybe Rörstrand or one of the Scandinavian companies.
But as soon as I touched it, and it made this sound when I put my hand over it, and I realized that this was called a "Feelie" vase, by Rose Cabat.
And I looked at the bottom, and sure enough, there's an "R" with a "C," which is a Rose Cabat mark I've never seen.
There's also "E" there, which I suspect means it's Ernie, her husband, who threw the pot, I'm guessing, on this one.
But she has become rather famous for her "Feelie" vases, which are these globular vases with little necks like this, and you kind of want to touch them, and when you do, and you run your hands over them, it makes this really scratchy sound.
The glazes really invite being held.
This is the earliest one of these I've seen, and you pointed out to me that there was a date of 1962, so it really marks the earlier part of her career.
This is unusually large, unusually early.
Conservatively, if I was going to auction this, my estimate would be $1,250 to $1,750.
It's a really good piece, it's a great three-dollar find.
WOMAN: This bowl was a gift to my great-grandmother when my great-grandfather was the secretary to the ambassador in China.
And they were there during the Boxer Rebellion.
So that's around 19...
And the siege lasted for eight weeks, and when the siege was over, my great-grandmother received gifts from the Chinese citizens.
They had been so grateful for the kindness that was shown to them.
So you know a little bit about this in that you had an appraisal done a number of years ago?
30 years ago.
And it was valued for...?
About $1,500 to $2,000.
Well, firstly is the basic shape.
It's a nice, large size.
You don't usually get bowls of this size.
The other is, the design itself is called the Eight Buddhist Emblems, and that's pronounced the "ba jixiang."
Buddhist emblems are these-- you see that's one.
There's another one, two.
Goes all the way around, three, and there's a wheel, and those are interspersed among stylized cloud scrolls at the very top... Mm-hmm.
And a lotus vine with lotus flowers.
Now, this is all based on a Ming design from the Ming Dynasty.
And what's really interesting about these is, if you look at the lotus flower, you see that the dark colors of the blue are achieved by little, tiny pin pricks, dots, of color.
Well, that's to simulate what you would find during the Ming Dynasty, called the "heaped and piled" technique, where you'd have a naturally occurring, very rich, intense purplish kind of blue that occurred because of the impurities in the cobalt.
So in the 18th century, which is when this was made...
...they tried to copy that, and they did not have the impurities in their cobalt, so they did it by putting these little dots close together.
And that's a technique you only find in the 18th century, so that's a good sign.
There's a mark here, and this is a mark for the Qianlong period, which is 1736 to 1795.
This is called a seal mark-- it's a rectangular mark, as opposed to a character mark.
So this is a, obviously, it's a nice bowl, but what really is interesting is when you look at the inside-- that's a design that is very much Tibetan in influence.
So this was probably made as a gift for a Tibetan temple.
And it was probably made in China and given by the Qianlong emperor or one of his... someone in his court, to go to Tibet.
I would say this should be insured for about $40,000.
(chuckling): That's wonderful.
So you've got a prize.
And that history and the provenance you've got is truly extraordinary.
I treasure it.
I love Chippendale pieces, but I also love Chippendale pieces that have a history, and this has been in your family quite a long time.
We can trace it back at least to the 1860s, maybe the 1840s.
Now, you brought this letter.
Now, what is it?
It was a letter written by one of my wife's ancestors during the Civil War.
William S. Harris, I see it here.
Written to his father and mother.
In New England.
He was a Union soldier in Louisiana, and then, in 1908, the mother of the soldier gave it to the two children of the soldier.
Saying "to be kept in grandfather's desk."
Today we have computers, and we have passwords to get in.
And unfortunately, letter-writing has become almost a lost art.
In the 18th century, desks like this, they were a symbol that a family was literate, was worldly, was sending out these letters.
Instead of a password, you had a key.
Unlock it, open it up, you pull these lopers out or else...
The loper-- it's called a loper?
That's called a loper, these little guys here that slide in and out-- they support the lid.
And inside, all these little cubby holes are here, this wonderful carved fan.
These are document drawers.
I love this.
"November 1885, this is to certify that when I have done with this desk," which means, I think, when he's done with his life, right?
Yes, but he doesn't say that.
A polite way.
"It is to go to William S.
Of course, William S. Harris was the grandson, the boy who wrote from the war, right?
Isn't that neat?
And I love to see that sense of history.
Well, this desk here, if we look at this lovely interior again with the valances, the pigeon holes, the fan, and then go down the front.
This has beautiful patina, nice color, which we love to see.
As far as I know, nothing's ever been done to it.
And you've never cleaned it, right?
Waxed it occasionally.
That's okay, that's just fine.
It just has this nice color.
These Birmingham brasses, made in England for the American market, they're original.
I checked on the inside, no other holes there.
You come down to this base, and this little double scroll, here, with the diamond in the middle... Uh-huh.
As well as these very vividly shaped feet-- you see how they're extra...
There's a little notch here-- they're over the top, they have lots of scallops and scrolls, typical of the 1760s and 1770s.
Where do you think it's made?
Well, we think New England.
The family was from New England.
Okay, probably made in Salem-- Salem, Massachusetts.
Family was from Salem.
No kidding, really?
Well, that's-- there you go.
It's a wonderful Salem piece, the original feet, the color inside and down here is all really good.
When we judge a piece of furniture condition-wise, we look at what could have happened to it, and on these desks, they'd open these up, they'd forget to pull the lopers, and what would happen?
That would drop off, yup.
This has only got a little crack down here, but it's the original lid, and that's really important, that can affect the value by 85%.
So it's the original lid, so you add that up.
Original brasses, great finish, and you've got this nice family history, and all that together really makes it a pristine object.
Any idea of value?
Have you gotten it appraised?
We had it appraised about 30 years ago.
Okay, what did they put?
They priced it at $3,000.
Okay, 30 years ago, which is about right.
Today, I'd put this desk at, easily, about $16,000...
I purchased it in 1967 BC, before children.
We just purchased a house, and I purchased for my wife-- we were going to have a party.
Instead of a party we had twins, and we put this dress away for 34 years.
Then we watched the "Antiques Roadshow" in the year 2001, a lady had a dress made out of newspapers, and the lady told her she didn't know what the dress was worth, but there was a Campbell's Soup paper dress worth $1,200.
So I got all excited.
A gentleman framed it for us, but if you'll notice, it's wrinkled, and he said instead of ironing and making it nice and neat, we left it exactly the way we pulled it out of our basement.
An appraiser came through about a year later and told me the dress was worth approximately $40, so that's all I know.
Well, the dress, as you know, was made by Campbell's Soup, because that's where you purchased it in 1967 to sort of capitalize on a fad of women wearing paper dresses.
It was a very short-lived fad.
And here we can see the original label.
This was made one size fits all, and you could make it as short as you wanted by cutting it off.
It's really fun to see a Warhol-inspired work on the "Roadshow."
It's great that you have preserved it as well as you have.
Now, about a month ago, one of these sold for over $2,000.
Oh, my goodness.
So I think you could expect to get maybe between $2,000 and $3,000 at auction.
Is that right?
Oh, my goodness.
I'll have to have my homeowner's insurance up.
Well, thank you very much, that's... (laughs) For a ten-dollar dress my wife never wore!
Oh, my God.
MAN: My great-great-uncle, Leslie Nunamaker, played professional baseball from about 1911 to about 1920 with teams like Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns, and Cleveland Indians.
And this is some of his stuff.
Yes, it is.
Here we have a couple of baseball magazines that actually picture your great-great-uncle.
He was one of the best pinch hitters of his day.
He was also a great catcher.
He is a well-known ball player, and this is his bat.
Now, there was a player named Jack Theis.
He played in 1920.
This bat says, "Theis," it doesn't say, "Nunamaker."
Now, back then, what these guys would do if they felt a bat that felt right, they'd say, "Hey, do you mind if I take that bat?"
"I'll send it back to Louisville Slugger.
Maybe they'll make me one like that."
It's very possible that's what this means.
You have a ticket stub.
It's from the 1915 World Series.
Boston Red Sox versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
This is for game one in Philadelphia, and actually, the Phillies won that game.
So was the ticket right along this edge where they tore it then?
We have your great-great-uncle's lifetime baseball silver pass.
We have an interesting cufflink-- it's actually in the shape of a baseball, and engraved on it says, "8-23-20."
Now, he played for the Cleveland Indians.
August 16 of that year, Ray Chapman was killed.
He was the player who got hit in the head by Carl Mays.
He died a day after he was hit.
It was a terrible tragedy, and on August 23, 1920, the Cleveland Indians were in Boston.
They played a double-header.
Now, why that's engraved with that date, I'm not quite sure.
That we're going to have to research a little more.
Here, we have two more cufflinks.
One is a championship cufflink from the 1912 Red Sox.
And one is from the 1920 Cleveland Indians.
And finally, we have a 1912 Boston Red Sox championship medal, and this was awarded to your great-great-uncle, and if we turned it around here, we'll see it's also been engraved with his name.
Now, the 1912 Red Sox were a particularly important team.
They'd just moved into their new ballpark, Fenway Park, and they christened it well.
They won 105 games and they beat the New York Giants to win the World Series-- it was a big deal.
It's probably one of the most important of the Boston championships.
So you have wonderful pieces here.
This ticket stub's probably worth about $1,500.
The lifetime pass is probably worth about $800 to $1,200.
This piece, we're not quite sure what it is, but it's worth at least $500.
These two are wonderful.
These two little championship cufflinks.
They're probably worth at least $3,000.
But this piece right here, this is remarkable.
I know of a couple in existence.
I've never seen one outside of the Hall of Fame or outside of a historical society.
Now, the players got diamonds in their championships medals.
This one, the diamond has been removed.
The good news is that that can be replaced.
But this medal can never be replaced.
And looking at the whole collection here, I would insure this for no less than $25,000.
(laughs) It's, it's truly a remarkable collection of things, and what a wonderful thing to have in your family.
It's just amazing.
(laughs) That's wonderful, it's just great.
What's that one worth?
That's probably worth, you know, 20 grand.
(laughs) Oh, I got a tear in my eye.
(laughing) APPRAISER: This is a really nice jug of Doulton stoneware made in the early 1880s.
The "HB" mark on the bottom stands for Hannah Barlow.
Hannah Barlow is probably the most famous of the artists that worked at this timeframe.
MAN: It's a 1903 Thomas Edison kinetic-- projecting kinetoscope.
APPRAISER: The lovely thing about it is that it's very untouched.
It's in good original condition.
Edison brought out this model of projecting kinetoscope in 1896.
So this is one of the slightly later ones.
APPRAISER: This is a fantastic group of chisels you've brought in.
They're all made by a company called D. R. Barton, who worked in Rochester, New York.
They're 1870s, 1880s.
To find chisels of that period, complete sets in this condition, a collector would just be drooling all over them.
I've been dealing, collecting chisels for years.
I've never had a group of chisels this good.
I got these in Europe-- in England, actually, and they're Baccarat.
And the lady told me that they had buried them during World War II to prevent them from being damaged.
Baccarat is one of the premier glass companies in France, and it's an old company and is still in business today.
The interesting thing about the set you brought in, it's extremely rare to find these vanity sets so complete.
You have an atomizer, two stoppered bottles, a soap dish, and a lidded box.
Each one of these would be in the $300 to $400 range, and these would be in the $200 range, so I didn't add that up real fast, but what did that come to?
Oh, you did it, oh, great.
Thank you so much.
WOMAN: A friend of my husband's mother was moving into an apartment, and she had to downsize and get rid of a lot of her stuff, so she just gave it to us.
APPRAISER: It's a great sculpture.
It's by one of the leading French sculptors of the 19th century.
His name is Albert Carrier-Belleuse.
Earlier in his career, he just signed his name "A.
Carrier," and about the middle part of his career, he added the "Belleuse" part.
He was born in the early part of the 19th century.
He was actually born in 1824.
In 1850, he exhibited at a salon, which were annual exhibitions of the leading artists of their day.
And Carrier-Belleuse went on to become probably the most prominent sculptor of his period.
He has a very varied career, because he was a teacher.
His most famous student was Auguste Rodin, who, at the end of the 19th century, introduced Modernism into sculpture.
And he was a very, very prominent sculptor.
But another part of Carrier-Belleuse's career is, he spent some time in England, and he did designs for the Minton porcelain works.
And he came back to France, and he eventually became the head of design for the Sèvres porcelain works.
So he was very, very active as a sculptor and really quite good.
As you can see, this incredible detail, this wonderful observation of the costume.
This period, 19th century, the Victorian period, they were looking to the past.
He also did Michelangelo, and they did sculptures of Leonardo da Vinci, but they also did Classical sculptures.
They were always looking back, looking for new and interesting subject matter.
And this bronze is in wonderful condition.
You have a wonderful surface, very nice color.
It shows some signs of wear, which is perfectly acceptable in a sculpture like this.
And then in addition, it has some gilding.
This sculpture's actually a cast that would have been made from a model.
The artist would usually sculpt something in clay, or maybe even in wax, and from that they would make molds, or a series of molds.
And then it would be cast into bronze.
And the artist would make these in editions, not limited editions, per se, like we have, like, "This is one of ten"-- that's a 20th-century concept.
Earlier in the 19th century, artists would get commissioned to do it and they would just have them made as they needed them.
And they were actually cast in sections.
This could have been cast in, like, ten or 15 different parts.
You see that funny little circle there?
What that is, is actually a cone-shaped pin, and what they did is, they would drive this cone-shaped pin in and it would bring the two pieces together.
Oh, my God.
And what happens is, over the years, the patina wears away and you see this little circle.
Oh, for heaven's sake.
I had never noticed that before.
So it's really a great example of French 19th-century sculpture by one of the leading artists of the day.
And at auction, this is a piece that would probably bring in the $6,000 to $8,000 price range.
WOMAN: They've been in our family business for as long as I can remember-- I think from the 1950s, when we first started carrying Levi's products.
APPRAISER: And your family business is the clothing business?
Is a clothing business.
So they're hanging up in the family store?
They are now.
They were upstairs in a store room.
And one was curled up, rolled up, and kind of smashed.
And you actually, you had a specific question for me, didn't you?
I had a question about Jo Mora, and why he came to publish a poster like this for Levi's?
It's a great question, because Jo Mora, who, I don't know if you know, was born in Uruguay and moved to America, lived in California, and became a great artist of the cowboys and Indians.
He illustrated several books.
He was also a pictorialist map-maker-- you can see how this is filled with a lot of little different images, that's called the pictorialist style.
And Jo Mora was most known for his pictorialist maps.
When I saw this piece, I got very excited, because I didn't know that Jo Mora had ever done anything as commercial as a poster, and I thought, "What a great confluence.
"Jo Mora, the great cowboy artist, is doing a poster for Levi's."
And that was a really exciting thing.
However, this is actually an image that Jo Mora published himself in 1933, and in 1933, the image was called "Sweetheart of the Rodeo."
Which you can see, and that's the title of the print, and Levi's adopted the image for their own advertising.
And it makes perfect sense, because the image is the history of cowboys, from the Spanish conquistadors through the modern-day, range-riding, smokin', rootin'-tootin' cowboy.
Now, had this been the original Jo Mora "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" print, it would've been worth about $1,200.
As the Levi's poster, several years after the print, it's actually worth about the same, because it's such a great confluence...
...of art and industry and commerce.
But you know, you also brought another poster, and I have to tell you, it's the first of its kind that I've ever seen.
And because it's a great picture of cowboys, because it's an American classic, like Levi's jeans, at auction, this piece, even in the bad condition that it's in, would be worth about $1,000 to $1,500.
Wow, that's wonderful.
I like it because of what it says.
We're in a dying small town.
And this is very pertinent to that.
WOMAN: It was my great-grandfather's and it's at my dad's house now.
The story is that he shot the animals and then had it made into a chair in Wyoming.
He was originally from Virginia, and went west.
And so somehow it got back to Virginia, and then out to Nebraska.
So if you saw this elk coming at you through the woods, would you turn and run the other way?
Because, in fact...
They're kind of big.
When you look at the size of this chair, and you look at the size of these antlers, it tells us this was one big animal.
This was really a trophy, wasn't it?
I think so, yeah.
It really was telling all of his friends, "I was out there, and this is the real thing, "and the West really was wild, and you could go out and find an animal this large."
And tell us what you brought with you.
Those are my grandfather's chaps from when he was about six, seven years old.
And we refer to these as "woolies."
I'm just going to pick these up and show the viewers that woolies would be worn-- and this was made for a child, right, a six-year-old?
A child, yeah.
And you're using them as a pad or a pillow...
For your chair, and so I'm going to fold these up and put them in the chair just the way you have been keeping them.
Chairs like this are so rare, and the size of this animal is so big, my colleagues and I have conferred on this, and we think this could bring $6,000 to $9,000.
The woolies are probably worth about $1,000.
So together, it's $7,000 to $10,000.
APPRAISER: At the end of the war, they made the Confederate soldiers sign a repatriation oath, and you have his original oath that allowed him to come back into the Union.
They have to agree to not to take up arms against the Union.
They also have to agree to the laws about slavery.
This one could probably bring around $500 to $600.
APPRAISER: Both of these pieces are contemporary.
These are worth, like, $250 apiece.
If you can buy something that's visually as exciting as these for that kind of money, I think it's a fabulous collectible.
Now, if you go in and you buy one that's contemporary like this and you pay $2,000, you have a problem.
It's a very exciting artform and something that's affordable.
Here's the original contract that she signed with Buffalo Bill, which states that she's to be an acrobat and to be engaged in tumbling.
This archive has images, contracts, letters, all relating to both Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill.
What you have here, and what you've brought in, would be worth about $2,000 to $3,000.
It came from a local antique dealer's.
We paid $350 for it in '76.
It is signed, it's Georg Klimt.
His brother achieved more fame-- Gustav Klimt, the painter.
But both members of the Vienna Secessionist Movement.
Really it was, epitomized getting away from sort of the Rococo excesses and really going to sort of more simple geometric abstract forms.
And the design is just amazing.
It's hammered copper.
You mentioned that you'd translated the motto in the middle.
I think it's, it's loosely like the nursery rhyme, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"
I think we're looking at value, at auction, probably conservatively in the $20,000 to $30,000 range.
We just have a sampling here.
You have a pile more of this, but we could only get so much on camera, but tell me what you have.
Right, this is actually a home that was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright for my great-grandparents.
And we have lots of correspondence.
My great-grandmother wrote to him back and forth and she wanted him to build her a remodel of what they already lived in, and that's what this one is.
Well, as she basically tells him in her letters, he doesn't know anything because he's just not getting it.
And so for her to tell Frank Lloyd Wright he's just not getting it was kind of a family joke, but eventually they came to the idea that it was going to be too costly and wasn't ever going to be what she wanted, and so they came up with the plans for this house.
So this was the first plan.
This was the first plan.
That he drew out, and they rejected that.
And she rejected it, yes.
Rejected it, yes.
Not enough bedrooms and no closet space.
Okay, then they came up with...
They came up with the typical prairie style, and it's a beautiful home-- it's still standing, it's been completely restored by the people who live there now, and this is a picture shortly after it was built.
One of the things that was interesting, you were talking about your grandmother, or great-grandmother.
What was her role in this?
Great-Grandmother was actually the general contractor.
She found all of the workmen, she contracted everything that needed to be done, right down to how much the bricks were going to cost, how much the windows were going to be.
You have a complete building list.
That obviously, your great-grandmother, as contractor, had to have.
Yes, had to have.
Now, this man.
What was his role in this?
Basically, he was the money man, and he had set aside about $5,000 to build this house, and it ended up costing up around $10,000 to build the house, and he was infuriated.
Something like this, just a price list, or a building list, be worth a few thousand dollars.
Letters, correspondence, back-and-forth about building a house, and you have about 20, 30 letters.
Yes, we do.
That's $25,000, $35,000.
In 1995, a drawing of Frank Lloyd Wright's for a house sold for $20,000.
(gasps) You have these two, which are the best, but then you have a pile of others underneath here?
Yes, we do.
You probably have about $75,000 for what's here.
Now, in addition, all the other drawings and so on, you might have $100,000, $125,000 or more, conservatively... Wow.
...and museums would kill to get this.
(chuckles) But I'll tell you, Frank Lloyd Wright original drawings-- it's amazing.
All the letters, it's fabulous.
It's a great story, and we love it, but probably never sell it.
Oh, it's just fantastic!
(squealing with delight) Oh, no, no, I think they want you back.
Oh, are we done?
Oh, I'm sorry.
(laughing): They need...
But they need you to be excited there.
Well, that's wonderful.
It's just a wonderful piece of our heritage and we've really enjoyed it, and it's a fabulous place.
WOMAN: I worked for a lady, and I'd become very attached to her.
And I always admired this chest, and she worked for the Air Force, and she lived in almost every country in the world.
But she always told me she picked this up in France.
So when she died, well, her daughter gave me this piece.
Oh, that's so nice.
So it's like a memento, something that you really liked.
As you can see, this piece is separate from the bench, I think you just sort of put it on the bench.
Yes, yes, I figured... Yeah, well, she had it on this bench.
Yeah, so this originally would have been on a different type of stand.
And this type of form was first made in the 17th century as, like, a collector's cabinet.
Where people would find interesting fossils or shells and things, and they would build and paint, sometimes, cabinets to house these little objects that they found.
And you've got this fantastic painting of all these different sort of hunting dogs.
It looks like spaniels and setters.
And when you open up the drawer, here, and if you want, you can pull out a drawer yourself and look on the side, you'll see that it's glued together.
And there are no dovetails.
But when we turn it over on the inside, this is all stained, and there's a little join here and here.
That indicates it was made probably in the late 19th or early part of the 20th century, in an earlier style.
The interesting thing, also, when you look at the front, see how this is all sort of carved and chipped away?
That's to almost make it look like it's older than it really is.
These little pulls are also typical for the 17th-century style.
And then someone has taken something that was pretty plain, relatively mass-produced, and they painted all these wonderful dog scenes on it.
If this were just a plain walnut cabinet, based on an earlier form, you'd probably be looking at maybe $200 in terms of an auction price.
Because it's got this painted subject with the dogs, this is something that could sell for, easily, $2,000 at auction.
In terms of value, and possibly even more.
WOMAN: It's called "The Thief of Bagdad" jewelry, and it is somehow connected with-- I think it was a late-1930s movie, "The Thief of Bagdad."
It was directed by Alexander Korda, and I've tried doing some research on it, but I keep getting contradicting information.
Alexander Korda was the director of "The Thief of Bagdad" in 1940, but Alexander Korda had nothing to do with this jewelry.
It was licensed to a company called Rice-Weiner that started production in about 1938.
And so what the Alexander Korda signature is, is the licensing agreement with this company.
When we look at the signature, Alexander Korda, it's a "Thief of Bagdad."
It was produced during World War II.
Previously, rhinestone jewelry had a lot of stones.
During the Art Deco, they were paved with rhinestones.
But you'll notice this jewelry has very few stones, because we were at war.
So we've got cabochon stones, we've got some pointed-back stones, pearl stones, and we've got a lot of intricate metalwork.
Our stones came from Czechoslovakia and Austria, mostly, so we had to use what was in our back storeroom.
We couldn't get rhinestones.
And we used older-style stones for jewelry in the '40s that we would have used for jewelry from the '20s and '30s.
The '40s style carries through with the brass chain, and they're wonderfully produced.
Now, have you got any idea what they're worth?
Most of what I've been able to find have been referring to pins and some pendant pieces, so I really have no idea.
Pins and pendants are more frequently found, and I've never seen a pair of earrings, ever.
So that's what you've got to search for, is earrings.
But this necklace is worth about $200 on today's market.
This necklet is worth about $100.
And the bracelet's also worth about $100.
So about $400.
Thank you so much for bringing them in.
Thank you, I finally learned something-- I love it.
Yes, you did!
There are very, very few examples of neon signs being created in the 1930s... Yeah.
...for interior advertising purposes.
It was usually used for building signage, for store signage outside.
The value on this would be about $2,500 to $3,000.
Oh, my gosh.
I didn't have any clue on that.
As far as I'm concerned, it's unique, meaning I've never seen another one.
APPRAISER: The magazine has been shortened.
It originally extended out almost to the end of the barrel.
It's just a fabulous gun, with this engraved scene on it.
And it's got virtually all the original nickel.
It's worth about $6,000.
This is a joint resolution ratifying the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery, but it had to go to each state assembly, so this one of the great documents from Iowa history.
Value-wise, probably about $1,500.
This is a wonderful document.
WOMAN: I got this in Beatrice, Nebraska, about 30, 35 years ago in an antique store.
And I know nothing about it.
Okay, about what did you pay for it, you remember?
Not exactly, but I'm sure I wouldn't have paid over $25.
Okay, well, what's your best guess?
What do you think it is?
Well, let's put it this way-- I'd like to have it be a nice piece, I'd like to have it be Weller, might be Roseville.
I don't know what it is.
Well, you're in the ballpark, you're right in the right area.
This is actually made in Zanesville, Ohio, but it's McCoy.
It's early Brush-McCoy-- this line is called "Jewel."
You got a matte background and then this high-glaze enameled...
It's got, like, a squeeze-bag technique.
Of putting on the enamel decoration.
And this was introduced in 1923, and at that point, this is some of the best stuff in that part of the United States that was being made.
Is that right?
It really, as far as this type of art pottery.
And then after the 1920s, then their quality began to decline a lot, going to more utilitarian-type stuff.
This is a really desirable vase, and for this line, it's a quite large one.
They're usually much smaller than that, and our estimate is, this is worth between $700 and $1,000.
WOMAN: 20, 30, 40 years ago, my dad would go out east.
They liked to go to the Baltimore Gun Show, and then on the way back home, they would stop at different antique stores and shops and just look for things that they thought were interesting.
And I don't really know a lot about it, other than I think what it is.
APPRAISER: So what do you think it is?
I think it's called a jag wheel, or a jagging wheel, and I believe that it's made from either whalebone or whale teeth, and I think that sailors and whalers used to carve these things for their sweethearts when they were gone on their long voyages at sea.
And then give them as presents when they returned.
When you brought it over to the table, I guess you could tell that I was sort of taken with it.
(laughs) This is a pie-crimper, and you're right that it's made out of the parts of a whale.
A lot of people call it "whale ivory," but there's really no such thing as whale ivory.
Could be teeth, other parts of it.
These little pins right here are baleen.
Which was part of the filter that was in the back of their throat.
And this is abalone.
The whalers ran out of New England into the Azores and places like that, and the piece of abalone could have come from anywhere.
And this is a pricker.
To vent the steam or something?
Yeah, when you want to just bake the crust first, you prick a hole in the bottom of that so that the dough doesn't rise up out of the bottom of the pan.
And so they call it a pie-crimper and a pricker.
But the thing that's so great about this is the wonderful sculptural quality of the carving.
Of course, it's in the form of a mermaid.
And the thing that I thought, besides the quality of the carving on her face, was the wonderful way that her hair's done in the back here, and the way her hands are done.
That just makes it a great piece of sculpture, as well as a nice survivor from our nautical heritage.
Whoever made it took what was going to be just a utilitarian object and they made it into something beautiful.
To me, that's the very definition of Folk Art.
And it's, like, mid-1800s?
Oh, yeah, I think 1850s or even before.
In my opinion-- and this is conservative-- a pre-auction estimate for this would be $6,000 to $9,000, and it could go up from there.
Pretty good results for your dad doing some horse trading, huh?
I would say so.
(laugh) MAN: Well, I purchased this painting at an estate auction roughly about a year ago.
And I did some research on it, and some background on Palmer Hayden, and found out that he was an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance.
And the roadblock I was running into, and I'm trying to find information on this painting, was trying to figure out, one, how did it get to Nebraska, and two, where this painting was painted.
Some of the information I found out was that it was painted in Long Island Sound.
Date-wise, I'm not for sure, I'm thinking mid-'30s.
Well, when most people think of the word "renaissance," they think of Italy and they think of the 16th century.
But in the United States, we were lucky, as well, to have our own Renaissance in New York in the 1920s and '30s.
The demographics of the Harlem Renaissance was based on African-Americans moving from rural centers in the United States up to urban centers-- New York, Chicago.
In the case of New York, they first moved into Greenwich Village, and later into Harlem, and while initially a literary movement, it involved music, art, all the artistic pursuits.
He was born in Virginia, and while people think of his style as being more self-taught, he studied in Maine, he studied in New York, and he also studied in Paris.
So he was quite a well-studied artist.
The subject matter really does speak to his time in Maine, or even in New York.
The New York scenes and the scenes that he painted that have African imagery in them are probably more highly valued.
A piece recently sold for $40,000.
One of the marine scenes, however, estimated at a few thousand dollars, also ended up realizing in the teens.
You do have some condition problems.
This area has some flaking, and it's also quite dirty.
I don't see any big problems.
You have a small tear here that can be easily replaced.
It's just a painting that... Well, you asked how it got to Nebraska.
These paintings have feet, and they walk all over.
Travel all over... And they have long lives.
So how it got here, we don't know, but we're glad it did.
Yeah, well, I'm glad it did.
In terms of its value, I would estimate it between $8,000 and $12,000.
WOMAN: My great-grandfather worked for Teco.
This is a picture taken around the turn of the century of my great-grandfather and his buddies at the plant.
And Mr. Gates is the gentleman at the bottom, Mr. Gates...
It is, it is.
...who started the pottery in 1881, near Crystal Lake in Illinois.
I say "Tech-oh" because I always said "Tech-oh," some people say it's absolutely "Tea-co." You see mostly pottery at Teco, and a lot of architectural ceramics, but not so much these lovely cuenca tiles, which are a beautiful example of an Arts and Crafts piece.
This big beautiful vase-- a rose vase being a nice, tall-necked vase where you could put roses, right?
Even thought this has irises on it-- is covered in the characteristic Teco green, and what makes this beautiful matte green is the fact that it's a crystalline glaze, but it's very, very small.
It's a micro-crystalline glaze.
Nothing like this beautiful little pot you have here, which is super-, super-rare.
They started making these crystalline glazes in about 1905.
When you have it like this, these big, showy crystals, it's pretty amazing.
And then there's smaller examples, which you see more often, very architectural here, more organic here.
And you also have some pipes.
Pipes like this, usually, without the carving, they're worth a couple of bucks.
But you have them carved-- it says "Teco" here, and some initials, all done very much in the Arts and Crafts style.
As far as pricing goes, these pipes, to a Teco collector, must be worth about $500 apiece.
Something like this, maybe $600 to $900.
Something more architectural, which is more what people are looking for these days, that's more like $1,000 to $1,500.
A rare vase like that, more like $1,500 to $2,000.
This beautiful tile alone-- $1,000.
And this big one-- easily $20,000 to $30,000.
And perhaps, who knows what that would bring?
It could bring $40,000 at auction-- it's spectacular.
I've never seen this particular form.
It's... it's just fabulous.
Thank you, thank you very much.
That's... that's part of our family.
WALBERG: Has the value of this ferocious feline gone up, down, When you pulled this flag out of the box, I was stunned.
It's got to be one of the finest World War II-vintage flags I've ever seen.
Why don't you tell me a little bit about whose flag it was and how you came to receive it?
The flag was the property of Bill Reed, who was a pilot with the Flying Tigers during World War II.
He was with the original American Volunteer Group, better known as the AVG, who went to China in 1941.
During his Flying Tiger days at the American Volunteer Group, Bill had ten-and-a-half planes destroyed.
And then he went on to score more victories with the 14th Air Force.
And then he went on in the 14th Air Force and scored eight kills.
And then you indicated that he was tragically killed in an air mishap in 1944.
Yes, he was on a mission in December of 1944, and returning from the mission, the airfield was under alert.
There was no lights for the planes to land, and they ran out of gas, and when he bailed out, the rear of the plane struck him.
And he did achieve the rank of lieutenant colonel, I think you said-- okay.
Well, let me tell you about your flag.
What this is, is a flag of the headquarters of the First American Volunteer Group, otherwise known as the AVG, or the Flying Tigers.
It's Chinese-made, it's made out of silk, completely hand-embroidered, and at the bottom, as you can see, it says "First American Volunteer Group."
And then it has the Chinese characters on the side, as well.
I've never seen one of these in person.
You've never had this appraised or had any idea what it's worth, have you?
No, I haven't.
Well, this flag would probably bring between $20,000 and $40,000.
It's a very unique item, it's a very colorful unit, it's highly collected.
World War II American aviation is one of the most sought-after areas of World War II collectibles, and especially the AVG.
What I would suggest you do with this flag, though, is have it professionally conserved, because you are getting some foxing spots on it and some stains.
Silk flags are very brittle.
They deteriorate quite rapidly, although this one's in beautiful condition.
But I would talk to somebody about having it properly conserved.
Because this is a true treasure, and it should be preserved for generations to come, and it was a pleasure seeing it.
Thank you very much.
WALBERG: I'm Mark Walberg, thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."