♪ ♪ It's a wonderful pig.
He's very striking.
It's unusual to see a collection of such ornate, desirable rings survive.
WOMAN: And I can go back five generations with photographs of all of us being rocked in it.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: In 2007, "Antiques Roadshow" visited the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas.
Thousands showed up to our event to find out if they struck it rich with their personal treasures and flea market finds.
Have the values of these antiques gone up, down, or stayed the same since then?
Place your bets.
MAN: It my was mother-in-law's, and it was given to her by her family, who had got it in about 1870s.
And the Indian who gave it to the said that it was in her family for 75 years.
Now, I don't know, that's... That's, that's a story that... And where was this person living at the time they received it?
They had a trading post at Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico.
The Isleta Pueblo is sort of the central pueblo of the Rio Grande region.
"Isleta" stands for "Little Island."
Well, what you've brought to us today is really quite extraordinary.
We've never collectively seen one in this format before.
The Isletas, during the Pueblo Revolt of the late 1600s, actually fled to the safety of the Hopis.
And when they came back to repopulate their village, they brought their Hopi spouses with them.
And then, in the mid-1800s, a few people from Laguna Pueblo and a few Natives of the Acoma Pueblo moved in there.
So, your pot kind of reflects the diversity of all the different tribal attributions, because it's not a clear case of who made this, and this pot represents a time period of probably the 1860s to 1880s.
Now, it's a canteen.
It's a wonderful pig.
There would have been a stopper in there, which, of course, would not have been a cork, but a corn cob.
And it has the assets of the Rio Grande Pueblo in terms of the clay.
It has a finish that we refer to as a slip glaze.
And it also has these deer on there, which people like to attribute to the Zuni, with these heart line... Yeah.
...indications in them.
But I actually feel that there might have been a Hopi hand involved in this.
They think so.
So it was a collaborative influence.
Have you ever tried to establish a price on it?
A friend of mine who collected Indian stuff and sold it gave me a price of, he thought it was about $20,000.
Well, an easy auction estimate for this piece would be $25,000 to $35,000.
Is that right?
It is quite extraordinary.
Just form and function and the figural aspect of it.
He's a very striking canteen.
I bought it in '61.
Where did you buy it?
In New York City.
It was something I saw that I liked.
What do you know about Marcello Fantoni?
Well, from what I've gotten on my computer, I looked it up and I was surprised to see that he was a well-known artist.
Do you see a strong influence-- a Picasso influence-- in this?
Yeah, he got a lot of his stylized designs, form, of Picasso's works.
Oh, he did?
I hope he's worth as much as Picasso.
Well... (laughs) Let's talk about that.
Very unique in his glazes.
The stylized designs-- he took a lot of classical designs, and by using different glazes and unique ways of putting the pottery together, you have a very modernistic-looking piece.
He didn't do a lot, up until this period, in figures, so what we're looking at is actually a quite unique design and the most desirable of what he made.
He did little dishes and bowls, more commercial pieces.
And today, in most major museums, you'll find one or two examples of his works.
It was produced in Florence, Italy, just around 1950 and maybe a little bit later.
It was manufactured to be sold through retail outlets, and the largest group of it was sold in retail outlets in the United States by all of the major department stores.
Oh, good, so the...
The Macy's was a good place to look.
Now, this is in absolutely perfect condition.
And absolutely beautiful colors.
And this speaks of him.
You don't need to see his signature to know that it's his work.
And his workshop was quite famous for this type of enamel design.
So let's just swing it all the way around here, and I'd like to show you the mark.
He signed in different ways.
Sometimes he does his whole first name, and you will see "Marcello" imprinted there.
In this case, you just have the last name and the word "Italy" there.
Now, tell me, what did you pay for it back then?
And what do you think it's worth today?
On the computer, I had seen that something similar was offered, I think, for $1,500 or $1,600, I'm not really sure.
A major collector would be willing to pay upwards of $3,000 for it retail.
Oh, my, oh, my.
That's a nice return on my money, isn't it?
(laughs) Excellent return.
Certainly, the hindsight would want you to have bought more.
(laughing): Yeah, I wish I had.
WOMAN: The artist is A.J.
He's one of the members of the Group of Seven, which is a very famous group of painters in Canada, mainly in the Toronto area.
My grandfather was actually friends with A.J.
Casson, and they lived next door to each other.
And one night, he had snuck a painting out and gave it to him as a gift.
Why did he have to sneak it out?
His wife actually didn't really appreciate his painting.
So, Casson's wife?
You know, that's very interesting, because today he's a highly regarded artist.
But, in truth, he was not financially successful as an artist until he was about 60 years old.
So that makes a certain amount of sense to me.
He worked as a commercial artist and in the commercial design and lithography fields and supported himself.
So even though he was quite a well-known painter, he wasn't doing well enough financially, and that probably explains, explains part of that.
So, do you know that he wasn't one of the original Group of Seven?
That Group of Seven was more than seven people.
When one person would, for one reason or another, drop out of the group, which was founded around 1920, someone else would be pulled in.
So apparently, that Group of Seven, at various times, was a group of six or seven or eight or nine.
He joined the group when he was about 28, around 1926 or something like that.
And then it disbanded around 1932, so it was a pretty short span of time...
...that they were working.
He was a quite elderly man when he died, and he was active in the art world in Toronto in many different ways throughout his life.
This is an oil painting.
These artists often worked in a kind of flat and broad style, with these wide areas of color.
It's probably a picture that was executed in the 1930s or '40s.
It's difficult to say with certainty, because his style was relatively consistent.
Do you know what it's worth?
It's kind of an ongoing family guessing game, I guess.
So what's the range?
It's anywhere from $15,000 up to $40,000.
I'd say you're probably, auction-wise, in the $25,000 to $35,000 range here.
So your family wagers are pretty on the money.
If you were planning to keep it, which I kind of think you probably are...
...I'd suggest you insure it for around $40,000.
So the high end of your speculation.
Well, thanks a lot for bringing it.
Well, thank you.
Yes, they were given to me by a, a former client.
I was a hairdresser for many years.
And she was my customer, and I became her caretaker, for over 25 years.
She said to me, "Take my jade statues.
These are not jade.
Um, they're actually plastic.
Jade is extremely hard.
You can cut it with a diamond-cutting tool.
It's very hard material.
They're worth perhaps ten dollars for the pair.
Wow, isn't that something, huh?
That's it, yeah.
You never know.
MAN: Well, these photographs were done by Arnold Newman, who is certainly recognized as one of the great photographers.
And Arnold Newman really photographed people, putting them in their environment.
You were saying earlier, it's Chaim Gross, the artist.
And then there's, of course, Al Hirschfeld, the illustration... That's right, yeah.
This one I would figure at maybe $1,000 to $1,500.
And then this one, maybe at $800 to $1,200 at auction.
Oh, I see, yes.
That's good to know.
APPRAISER: This is called an argyle.
It is an insulated double-walled pot, and it's actually meant to keep gravy warm.
And what you do is use this little, the spout on this side, and fill up hot water inside here.
And then you put your gravy in the interior, and pour the gravy out here.
Auction value would probably be about $300 to $500.
Oh, my goodness.
(laughs) I'm shocked.
(chuckles) WOMAN: I grew up in Pennsylvania, and in the wintertime, there wasn't much to do, so I used to write letters to, like, actresses and actors, and I got autographs.
Well, I had a pen pal from England.
Her brother was in a band in Liverpool, and they had known the Beatles.
And she said that if she ever got to meet them, she would try to get an autograph for me.
So this is what she sent me.
And what was your friend's name?
Her name was Puddy, P-U-D-D-Y.
And when you look at the program here, it is from the Beatles' show.
We see a lot of Beatles autographs here on the "Roadshow."
And I would say 99 out of 100 are never authentic.
When I looked at this, I looked at it carefully, and consulted with a couple of the other appraisers on the show, and we all concurred that these were 100% authentic signatures.
They're signed on the front here.
You have John Lennon, Paul signed his first name, you have Ringo and George.
Now we're going to open it up.
And if you would just grab the back part of that and I'm going to hold this.
You have signatures again here, Ringo, and here, "To Puddy, George Harrison."
You have John Lennon and you have Paul McCartney.
Now we're going to flip it over again.
We'll go to the back side, and once again, you have John Lennon, George, Ringo, and Paul.
Now, it's pretty amazing to find four authentic Beatles signatures on one piece, let alone three sets.
It's remarkable, and I probably am not going too far out on a limb saying this may be the only piece ever signed three times... Oh, really?
...in three complete sets by the Beatles.
Your pen pal was a very good friend.
Was a very good friend.
I don't know if you're still in touch with her.
No, we're not in touch.
Well, you might want to try to find her to thank her very much.
Because it was a pretty generous gift.
You know, you do have folding in it, you have a little bit of a crease line that goes up through the Lennon.
Some taping there.
But a very conservative estimate at auction would be $15,000.
Yeah, and could go much higher.
I mean, it's just an incredible piece, super-rare, and any Beatles collector would just love to have a piece like this.
Thanks so much.
MAN: All I know is, they're Gorham Martelé vases.
My dad purchased one of them at an auction in Chicago; the other one he purchased at an auction in Indianapolis, and he thought they were similar enough, they could be a pair, but he wasn't really sure.
Well, you are right, they're by Gorham Martelé.
Gorham is based in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Martelé section of it was from the late 19th century to about 1930, under the instruction of William Christmas Codman.
And it is known as the... pretty much the finest silver of the 20th century.
These vases here are quite interesting.
What's unusual about them is, you had mentioned that he had purchased them in two places.
And if we look at the bottom of one of them, you can see the marks, it says "Gorham Martelé."
But then it also says "Spaulding," which was retailed by in Chicago.
This vase, on the left, also says "Spaulding," so it's funny that he purchased them in two places, because I have a feeling that they were meant to be together, and I'm not sure whether there's a... sort of a confusion in the story, but I'm almost certain that they are a pair.
Martelé is a higher silver standard than traditional sterling silver.
It's .950, as opposed to sterling silver's .925.
You have this wonderful hand-hammered rim, and then on the body, you have wonderful floral decoration, which continues down the body, this fabulous leaf, which stretches around it, to this wonderful scalloped, almost Art Nouveau-style rim.
You had mentioned that you thought they might be from a particular date.
Uh, I think they were from, like, 1904.
Okay, the marks underneath confirm that.
And what's interesting, again, about having purchased them in two different places is, they both have the same marks.
There are some slight variations, but as they were hand-hammered, there are always going to be some variations.
You've had them for some time in the family?
Probably 25 years.
It's hard to find a pair.
They are a very nice size, quality, and condition.
At auction, I would say they are worth between $12,000 and $18,000 for the pair.
They're a great pair of vases.
MAN: This is an oil painting that my grandmother gave me.
It's something that she bought in the 1960s.
She purchased it from a friend of hers for $250.
When she arrived at the apartment, the husband of her friend was handing it to Barbra Streisand.
And she went over to Ms. Streisand and took it out of her hands and said, "No, that's mine."
(chuckles) There you go.
I know that it was done by Tiffany.
Yeah, it is a painting by Tiffany.
When you think of Tiffany, you think of the guy who pioneered lampshades, stained glass, really a pioneer in decorative arts.
So to see a painting is not rare, but it's a little bit unusual.
Tiffany was born in 1848 in New York.
He died in 1933.
He studied with Samuel Colman and George Inness, two American landscape painters.
And, in addition to his work in the decorative arts, he traveled throughout the world painting.
He was a member of, ultimately, the National Academy of Design, which he then, with other artists, rebelled against and created a group called the Society of American Artists.
He painted in a realistic style.
As far as where the painting may have been executed, he painted throughout Canada, Europe, America...
So it's a little bit difficult to say exactly where this might be located.
The painting isn't dated, but chances are it would've been probably late 19th century.
The painting itself appears to be in very good shape.
It looks like it's probably untouched.
There's a little bit of craquelure, which is something that's really an inherent vice to an old painting, but it doesn't look like any mechanical damage that a person would have done.
And I think the painting could stand a cleaning.
Do you have any idea what a painting like this today would sell for?
Hopefully more than $250.
Today, if this painting were offered at auction, it would probably sell in the area of $15,000 to $25,000.
A little more.
Yeah, for $250, it was, it was quite a prudent buy.
It's a really nice example of, of Tiffany's work.
Thank you so much for bringing it in.
My deer-in-the-headlight moment.
We were on the way home from a dog show, and we stopped at kind of a cross between a garage sale and a rummage sale type of thing, and I just saw it and liked it, because I liked the moon on it.
And so I bought it.
And you paid...?
(chuckles) Well, you have a beautiful piece of Newcomb College pottery.
Newcomb College Pottery was part of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Now, the pieces at Newcomb are hand-thrown, and they were hand-thrown by a male potter, and then they were decorated by ladies at the school.
It is hand-thrown, so there are absolutely no mold marks whatsoever.
This type of decoration is typical of a bayou scene in Louisiana.
It has live oak trees and Spanish moss and a full moon.
We see these always in this matte or sort of waxy matte glaze.
Now, if we look underneath, we have several marks here that help us.
The "N.C." for Newcomb College, although there are other potteries that use "N.C.," so "N.C." alone is not enough to tell you that it's a real mark.
You have a "J.H."
for Jonathan Hunt, and he was the thrower there starting in about 1930.
You have an "S.I."
for Sadie Irvine.
And she was one of their most prolific artists.
And then you have letters and numbers.
And the letters here, starting with an "S," would date it to about 1930 or 1931.
Now, it's a very nice pot, it has a good size to it.
This piece was carved and then fired and then glazed and then fired.
And the definition is a little soft.
There's like a little bit of melting effect, if you look closely.
However, it is still beautiful.
It still has everything going for it, still has a nice, big size.
And a conservative auction estimate would be $3,000 to $4,000.
Oh, my gosh.
Oh, good Lord.
(laughing): Probably drop it on the way home.
WOMAN: This belonged to my great-great-grandmother, and I guess it's a kit, somehow to make some kind of jewelry out of jet.
And I'm not really sure what jet is.
Jet is lignite coal.
These are little pieces of jet that were strung together for mourning jewelry.
And I would date this whole kit to somewhere in the 1870s, 1880s.
I think if this were to come up for sale, that collectors would fight over it, and it could possibly go as highs $1,500 to $2,000.
I think it is absolutely super.
Thanks for bringing it in.
Well, this was my grandfather's.
He was an Italian immigrant, and a gardener and a handyman.
And I used to go visit in the summer, and he'd tell us to stay off his very fine lawn, so... That was what I remember about him.
Well, that's a lucky thing to get from your granddad.
This is a classic American folding rule.
It's a multi-function rule.
What they call an inclinometer rule, because it measures angle, as well as your normal measurements.
It has a level built into it.
It's in beautiful condition.
With the exception, of course, that the steel tip here is rusted.
But it has the box.
Yes... And I've handled many of these.
They're very desirable-- in this condition, still a $200 rule, because it's so crisp and so nice.
But the box has got to add another $200 to it.
(chuckles) I mean, you don't find the box.
(inaudible) I mean, few and far between.
WOMAN: Well, it's a 1955 production of "Macbeth," starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, and this is one of the drawings of the costume.
It was drawn by a man named Roger Furse.
He won an Academy Award in 1948 for "Hamlet," for costume design.
And that's all I know.
Okay, well, Roger Furse was known as a costume designer.
He's a British artist who died in the early '70s, but he also did set design.
And in this production of "Macbeth" in 1955, Olivier got so much acclaim for his role and his depiction of Macbeth that all the other characters practically got no mention in the write-ups.
And one thing that Furse was trying to do in the design of the costumes for the male characters was to project an aura of strength and even brutal violence, which, he did this by using tweeds and sort of these heavy, masculine fabrics.
And in the set designs, he used angles to project a sort of sense of something being awry in the kingdom, and he used very stark lighting and very little detail in the architecture on the sets to give this sense of doom and an atmosphere of something tragic.
I really think that this is also by Furse...
...even though it's not signed.
And in terms of value, I found a very good comparable for a costume design that was worn by John Gielgud, also in a Shakespearean play, that brought about $800 a number of years ago.
So I think this might be worth $800 to $1,200.
Oh, great, fabulous!
And how much did you pay for the two?
And I think this might be at least $600 to $800.
WOMAN: I have a letter that Albert Einstein wrote to my father in 1943.
In 1940, my father read a "Time" magazine article that stated that Einstein was quoted as saying that the only social institution that stood up to Nazism was the Christian Church.
My father is a Presbyterian minister in a little northern Michigan town called Harbor Springs.
And he quoted Einstein in a sermon, and a member of the congregation wrote my father a letter saying, "Where did you get your information?"
So my father wrote "Time" magazine, and "Time" magazine wrote him back, and I have that letter, too, but they didn't give the source, so my father wrote Einstein and he wrote back, saying yes, he did say that the Christian Church was standing up to Hitler and Nazism.
I love this story for a lot of reasons.
One, it's about your dad checking his references... Mm-hmm.
...checking his facts, and how important it is to get your references right.
He goes to the first reference, "Time" magazine.
He doesn't get a good answer, and he goes beyond that.
The second reason I really like this story is that your dad kept all the supporting material for, behind the letter that he eventually got from Einstein confirming, "Yes, I did say this about the Christian Church."
So the first letter I have in this stack is the letter from the parishioner, who says, "Where'd that quote come from?"
And then the second letter is the letter from "Time" magazine.
They're kind of hedging their bets.
I love that they can't really confirm it...
...but they won't deny it, but they're, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, he said it, he said it."
And then the third thing, even though he kept all of this original, primary support material, your dad took the time to write a three- or four-paragraph essay in which he explains the story behind the Albert Einstein letter.
This is terrific, I mean, if I could get one message across to people who own historical manuscripts, who own letters from famous people, who own archives, and people who know the story behind them, it would be: please just take five minutes and write it down for the next generation.
If you had brought this letter in without the supporting documents, I would have looked at it, and it says, "It's true that I made a statement "which corresponds approximately with the text you quoted.
"I made this statement "during the first years of the Nazi regime-- "much earlier than 1940-- and my expressions were a little more moderate."
And I would say, "Well, "it's a nice typed letter from Einstein, says something about Nazis," but I wouldn't really know what he was talking about...
...if your father had not saved all the material that is appropriate to it.
Have you ever had this Einstein letter appraised before?
Well, it's on just typing paper.
He used to blind stamp his return address, and it's typed and then signed here.
Normally, a run-of-the-mill typed Einstein letter from this period is about $1,500 at auction.
But with this fantastic story behind it, a $1,500 letter becomes a $5,000 letter.
WOMAN: Well, the story goes, it was made by an Indian chieftain.
And it was given to our family, who came over from Scotland, and I guess the chair goes back pretty far.
It's been passed down through the family, and they lived in the Colonies.
And it came to New Buffalo, and I can go back five generations, with photographs, of all of us being rocked in it.
Were you rocked in it?
My daughters were rocked in it, as well.
Who is this handsome character?
This is my grandfather, and he wrote a letter, a few years before he passed away, telling about the history of the chair.
I'd like to read just a little bit of it.
Your grandfather wrote: "I have fond memories of the chair.
"It sat in the sitting room of my grandparents' farm home.
"I loved my grandmother very much, and as a child, "she used to rock me in the chair.
"Also, she would tell me that when my feet "would touch the floor, she wouldn't rock me anymore.
And secretly, I hoped that my feet never touched the floor."
Very, very sweet.
So the family history takes you back four or five generations, it sounds like.
And one thing to keep in mind is, you don't find the age of an object by adding up the lifespan of those people.
When you look at generations, people may have had children when they were 20 years old.
So going back four or five generations might only take you back to the late 19th century, rather than to the 18th century.
I don't know if you ever noticed, but the way the rocker is attached to the front legs is with a bolt and a nut.
That's modern technology.
These were assembled in a factory setting and you could order them from catalogues.
How do you refer to this chair, at home?
The old hickory rocker.
The old hickory rocker.
What's it made of?
I, I have no idea.
Okay, all right!
It is hickory.
We got that right!
(laughs) Now, there was a North Carolinian who moved to Indiana, which I think is where part of your family is from.
And he started a company called the Old Hickory Chair Company in the 1890s.
Now, this chair is not marked.
But it fits perfectly into what they were making at that time... Wow.
...at the Old Hickory Chair Company in Indiana in the 1890s.
Your grandfather, do you remember when he was born?
Around... 1909 was when he was born.
Okay, so this might be 1915, then.
Something like that.
Well, that's right in the period when Old Hickory Chair Company is producing lots and lots of chairs like this.
Now, what I love about this is, your family history says that this was made by an Indian chieftain and passed down through the family.
Well, that's exactly the kind of history that they were trying to evoke with these chairs.
Do you have any idea what it's worth?
No idea, no clue.
Well, they made a lot of these, but they have come back into vogue.
It's probably, at auction, I would estimate it at $1,000 to $2,000.
I'm really surprised, actually, that it's not older.
MAN: My grandmother just recently passed away, and I inherited this and a few other pieces.
She got this from Hong Kong, where she used to live.
My grandfather used to work in the shipping business, and he had a lot of friends, and she would go over to different friends' houses, and one, one in particular just loved her personality, and she would like a piece, and, you know, a month later, he'd give it to her as a gift.
Well, I'll tell you, this piece is actually a pastiche of the best of Chinese porcelain production in the Qing Dynasty.
It has great enamel painting here, marvelous landscape scene, gilded work, molded decoration of dragons and leafy tendrils, different colors of glazes which were all used during the Qing Dynasty.
However, this is actually a production from the Republican period.
That is, the period after the fall of the Qing Dynasty down to 1949, and so the piece was probably hot off the kiln... Oh.
...when your grandmother received it.
It is wonderful, tour-de-force decoration-- it does have some condition issues, where the gilding here is, been rubbed off during the course of its life.
That's the only minor drawback to the piece itself.
There is a seal mark on the bottom of the piece, has a Qianlong mark, which actually would mean, if the piece were of the period, made during the reign of the Emperor Qianlong.
However, these marks are what we consider to be apocryphal.
That is, they are marks which now indicate in the style of something that was done during that period.
And so this is a Qianlong mark on a 20th-century or Republican period piece.
About 20 years ago, these wares were not really very valuable at auction.
And now, because of the new market in China, a piece like this that would have been worth, say, maybe... $800 to $1,200 about 20 years ago, is now, in this particular condition, worth between $6,000 and $8,000.
And do you know what?
If all the gilding were intact... Yeah?
It'd be worth at least $10,000 to $15,000 at auction.
But it's a marvelous, marvelous example... Wow.
...of what we call the Republican period wares.
WOMAN: We found it in my grandparents' attic, old house.
And after we cleared out the attic, we moved it to the basement of my father's house, where it was being dripped on by some pipes in the basement.
And do you know about the artist?
I know that it's Thomas Hart Benton, because my mother had a coffee table book of his work, and so I knew he was somebody famous, but... That's correct.
It's an original lithograph by Thomas Hart Benton, who was one of the pre-eminent printmakers of the first half of the 20th century in America.
He's a well-known regionalist, and did several hundred lithographs, most of which were printed in an edition of 250.
And this happens to be a lithograph he did in 1942, it's called "The Race," and you can see the horse on the plainhere, racing the locomotive, and it's pencil-signed by Benton.
And it's basically one of his more important prints.
I would say it's in the top five of those several hundred lithographs he made.
Unfortunately, just about everything you shouldn't do to a work of art has been done to this one.
You can see here, there are a couple of tears up here that extend into the image.
There's this piece of tape that somebody put on the edge.
There's a little divot down here.
There's staining throughout here.
Couple of scratches in the clouds.
Some fairly significant staining down here.
If I tip it like this, it's actually been glued down partially to this backboard, which is not a good backboard, either.
It's not museum-quality backboard.
So, plainly put, all those condition problems really hurt the value.
You said that at some point in time you had this appraised, or you got a value on it?
I took digital photographs of it.
And judging from the photographs, they thought maybe $2,000.
And this was at an auction house?
Well, in this condition, I would say it's worth $3,000 to $4,000.
And that is because most of these problems are easily reversible, if you take the print to a reputable paper conservator.
And you could bring this back to life... Hm.
90 times better than it is right now.
Oh, I didn't know that.
And all of that conservation would cost you several hundred dollars.
But it would increase the value of the print threefold.
So, in good condition, this, this would be a $10,000 print at auction.
So hold on to it, clean it up, and you've got a $10,000 print.
Oh, my God, that is neat!
Thanks for bringing it in.
MAN: Years ago, I used to fly private planes, and one of my tail numbers was November 5016.
So a close friend of mine saw this "Frank and Ernest" cartoon, and she noticed that the plane number almost matched mine.
So she thought it'd be fun to write Bob Thaves, who is the artist for "Frank and Ernest."
And over the course of the next several years, she also wrote to the cartoonist for "The Wizard of Id."
And, of course, to Charles Schulz for the "Peanuts" cartoons.
Yeah, they hang in my bedroom.
They've been there for close to 30 years.
So, had these a long time.
If we're starting with the Bob Thaves, nice cartoon, has a lot of meaning to you because of the tail fin number.
Dollar value-wise, not that important.
At auction, maybe $50, $75, $100.
On "The Wizard of Id," a little bit higher value, a little bit more recognized-- I would probably estimate that maybe $200 to $400.
In that range.
Then when you get to this one, this is the interesting one, this is "Peanuts," Charles Schulz, 1976, great strip, and Charlie is featured in all four panels.
On today's market, Schulz art is one of the hottest collectibles around.
And I would put a conservative auction estimate about $3,000 to $5,000 on that piece.
It's a great piece.
MAN: Well, I picked it up here in the Valley in Las Vegas about three months ago.
Um, there were several other posters with it, but this one caught my eye.
When you brought this poster in, I showed it to my colleague Simeon Lipman over at the sports table, and this is what he said when he saw it.
He said, "Wow."
And I looked at it as a poster, and when I looked at it, I said, "Wow."
So here you have a sports guy who says, "Wow."
And you've got a poster guy who says, "Wow."
You say you paid how much for it?
Uh, approximately five dollars.
When Simeon and I compared notes, we decided that at auction, given that it's an early, a very early American football piece, which is highly collectible, a very unusual and a very rare poster, he and I both reckon that at auction it would fetch between $4,000 and $6,000.
Oh, that's pretty good.
Which is somewhere between "bingo" and "hoo-rah!"
WOMAN: It belonged to my father.
He had a rather warped sense of humor, and the dancing frogs probably appealed to him.
So it's just been sitting.
APPRAISER: Janet, what you have here is a beautiful piece of Bohemian overlay glass.
Overlay glass per se isn't all that rare, but usually it's white over clear, red over clear.
And what you have is unusual, because it's three colors.
You have blue over the clear over the red, and the lower section is just beautifully done in the, almost a Deco feel.
But what really makes this piece fun is, you have all these animals...
Here you have a cricket riding a bicycle, and another cricket watching.
As you go around there, you have a frog wearing a tutu with a veil in a ballet pose, and another frog, looks like it's jumping rope.
So you're not likely, except if you're looking at a commercial now in the Super Bowl, to see a frog dancing in a tutu.
Jumping rope, yes.
So it's a beautiful piece.
The time frame on this is between about 1915 to 1925, and the value would be in the range of $1,200 to $1,500.
MAN: I brought a clock from my grandfather.
He had a collection of clocks that we distributed amongst the family, and this is one that I had gotten, and I really don't know much about it, other than it's a Willard from Boston regulator.
Aaron Willard is part of America's most famous clock manufacturing family in a period in which clocks were made by individuals, as opposed to big companies.
Aaron Willard's brother, unfortunately, overshadowed Aaron throughout his life.
His brother Simon Willard is our country's most famous clockmaker.
One of the interesting things about the Willards is that the quantity of clocks that they produced was just remarkable.
Simon and Aaron probably accounted for 6,000 clocks in their lifetime, and some of their family members would certainly help with that production.
They had a vast apprentice system.
Many of those apprentices went on to become famous clock makers in their own right.
Some of the types of clocks that you might see with Aaron Willard's name on it are tall case clocks, or long case clocks.
Aaron Willard made a number of Massachusetts shelf clocks.
This particular model is called a tavern clock, and it's one that we see very infrequently.
This case is mahogany, and those examples that we have seen in the past all share mahogany cases.
The dial actually has sort of a dish form to it, a concave form to it.
It's thought that these models were probably sold on more of a commercial basis, much like the gallery clocks that you see in the churches and meeting house of the 1820s, and that's certainly where this clock was made, too.
Do you actually run this clock?
I run them once a year.
Once a year, yeah.
These clocks have fantastic movements in it.
It's designed to run eight days on a wind.
It's a timepiece, which means that it doesn't strike.
And that's very typical for this format.
Really super, super quality.
Have any idea what this clock is valued at today?
Uh, the only thing I could guess is maybe, like, $5,000.
That's probably pretty conservative.
One of the aspects of this particular clock is that it has a condition issue of the signature-- it has been what we call strengthened.
Someone's gone over the original signature and sort of made it so that you can see it from across the room.
This particular clock, in the condition that it is now, which is really, retail-ready, is probably worth anywhere from $15,000 to $18,000.
If the signature hadn't been touched up or gone over, we've seen these sell for $25,000, $26,000.
APPRAISER: We have here "Pumpkin Moonshine" by Tasha Tudor, her first book.
But tell me what you brought.
What I brought is this little page.
And she originally made this little booklet up.
And these are her original artwork for it.
And she made it for her little niece and she bound it-- you can see the little holes here-- and tied it with string and then gave it to her.
And then later, she got it back, and she took it to the publisher to be made into "Pumpkin Moonshine."
When she first did it, the publishers didn't want it.
And she had it... No, they thought it looked like a seed catalogue.
They said... Yeah, they thought it looked like a seed catalogue.
It was her first item-- many times, first-time authors, they get rejected.
Oh, yeah, uh-huh.
Now, let me just show you, first of all, in the book... We have the exact illustrationhat she did.
And one of the things that you see with this is, even though the illustration in the book is good, they're still a little better in the original.
And Tasha Tudor is one of the great icons of illustration, children's books.
She's 93 years old, she's still up, working.
93, I know.
I got to meet her a year ago.
Tell me about that.
Oh, that was so exciting.
She lives in Vermont.
And I went on one of her garden tours.
She's frail, but she came out and we got to meet her and I got to shake her hand.
And it was just a very thrilling moment for me.
Another interesting part about this is, when you turn to the back, there's... another of the illustrations, a little bit different.
You can see a few changes from when it was published.
So, you have the front, the back... Now, tell me a little, where did you get this?
How did you get it?
I got it from an auction service.
I got their booklet and they had it listed in there, and I bid on it through the mail at that time.
It was probably eight or nine years ago.
And what did you pay for it?
I think I paid about $1,200.
Well, $1,200 at the time was a fair price.
What's happening, though, is, children's illustrated art in general is soaring.
Tasha Tudor is one of the greatest.
Now, the book itself that we have here, the condition isn't that good.
It, quite honestly, it's here... To, yes.
...more to show the illustration.
But I wanted to show another illustration in the book.
This is a darker illustration, maybe not quite as fanciful.
About two years ago, the original from this illustration sold at $11,000.
(silently) People collect Halloween, so it got a good price.
This one, where it has the two sides... Now, the sale price really is the main illustration-- would easily go for $8,000 to $10,000 in a retail bookstore, children's art shop, or so on.
MAN: My grandfather worked for Tiffany's back in the '30s, and one Christmas, it was a Christmas bonus that he received.
And what did your grandfather do at Tiffany's?
He was a salesman for the stained glass.
That's what he sold for churches and sacred items and things like that.
You have this wonderful desk set.
It's in a very rare pattern, it's called a Spanish pattern, and what's interesting is, when your grandfather was given it, there was a list here of the pieces and the values at the time, which is in 1935.
In addition, there's this wonderful card from Joseph Riggs, who was the manager of Tiffany Studios at the time.
This is the very tail end of Tiffany Studios, 1935.
I mean, they were virtually in bankruptcy and they probably had no money to give him a bonus.
So this was it, and they often paid employees with items rather than having to pay them.
Tiffany Studios made about 15 different desk set patterns.
They had an American Indian pattern.
They had a Chinese pattern.
They had patterns that had bronze with glass set in them.
They had pieces that had mosaics in them.
So it was really quite an undertaking.
And some of these sets would have 30, 40 pieces.
And what's nice is, you have this whole set, which, you can see, makes quite an impressive display.
This is, uh, blotter ends.
There would have been a blotter in between this piece and that piece, this is a memo pad.
This is a perpetual calendar here.
You have this pen tray.
This is called a rocker blotter.
This is a daily memo pad.
This is the letter rack.
You have a letter opener, a magnifying glass, an inkwell, and this great pair of bookends, which is a particularly rare piece.
Somehow, bookends always seem to get separated from their sets.
And it has what they called the Spanish pattern.
So you have these figures from, looks like Spanish history, sort of Renaissance-looking, grotesque griffins.
Most people think of Tiffany in the Art Nouveau style, but he has a range of styles, and these were commercially made things to cover a whole range of different tastes.
And people pay a premium for having a complete set like this.
In a good shop, this set complete would sell for about $15,000.
Wow, that's great.
MAN: A family friend of mine gave them to me several years ago.
Her father, Mr. Hoff, lived on the outskirts of Baden-Baden, Germany, and between the First and Second World Wars, he started collecting these as a hedge against inflation.
And he thought, when Hitler came into power, they might be some form of currency he could use.
So he started buying these and collecting them, and as it got closer to World War II, he buried them in his backyard.
Now, he stayed in Germany until the 1980s, when he came and joined his daughter here in Las Vegas, and he passed away here.
And after I had these rings for a couple of years, my friend said, "What are you doing with the rings?"
And I said, "Well, they're just as you gave them to me.
I have them locked away."
She says, "They're to enjoy."
So I took one of the rings and started wearing it.
I did not know until today, till I brought the box out and we examined it, that there was a gold nugget in the middle of one of these rings.
I know he purchased them.
There appear to be some German inscriptions in some of them.
But I know nothing else.
Let's deal with the gold nugget first-- this is not a gold nugget that comes from prospecting.
This is gold that is scrap gold, but it does weigh almost an ounce of 14-karat gold, and something like that is worth about $400 in today's market, to melt it.
So right then and there, you see the ability to use gold as a currency, and, of course, gold jewelry was something that took people through wars and got people out of countries in times of distress.
Gold was the original portable wealth.
But let's talk a little bit about the form of these rings.
It was custom in Europe, more so than in this country, to have your family crest engraved or applied to the top of the ring.
When a ring has not had the engraving applied, it's called the blank.
These rings are beautifully decorated.
You can see the wonderful work, and most of these rings have wonderful detail, deep detail, going completely around the rings.
When gold peaked in the 1980s and we had gold approaching $1,000 an ounce, men's jewelry was the first thing to get melted.
You didn't want to take your wife's jewelry and melt that for the money.
So the men's wedding rings went in the melting pot first.
It's unusual to see a collection like this of such ornate, desirable rings survive.
When we talk about value, some of it has to do with the quality of the gold, and these three rings are 18-karat, and the remainder all 14-karat.
These all are European, and they're all basically early-20th-century rings.
Some of them are made around the turn of the century and right up to the war.
What's interesting is the desirability of these rings now.
To give you an idea of the value, I averaged them out.
First of all, the melt value is over $4,000 in the gold.
Some of these massive man's rings, the one that you wear, that you had engraved, these each weigh one ounce of 18-karat gold.
But on the average, these signets can bring, at retail, nearly $1,500 or more, depending on how decorative they are, and the 18-karat ones, $2,500, even $3,000 would not be unreasonable... Wow.
...for such a handsome man's ring.
When I add up the whole collection and even toss in your gold nugget, we're looking at $19,000... Oh, my goodness.
...in retail value, Wow!
...when they're sold individually as signet rings in the marketplace.
Well, I can assure you they're not going anywhere.
Mr. Hoff, I feel like, is watching how I take care of them.
I'm going to continue to take care of them and tell his story every time I wear the one ring.
And I'm so proud to wear it.
PEÑA: You're watching "Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Las Vegas."
PEÑA: And now it's time for the "Roadshow" Feedback Booth.
And I have an etching that I got at a thrift store for $20, and it's worth $600.
And I found out my aunt snores.
(laughs) And we brought today this painting-- this drawing.
Actually, it's a photograph, I found out, and it's worth about $300 to $400.
It's gone down from what I paid for it, but okay!
And we raided Nathan's grandma and grandpa's closets to bring these lovely rhinestones, that are not worth much, but they're shiny and I love them, and... World War II postcards.
Which were worth what?
More than we thought.
Which my grandfather bought for a quarter, and they're worth about $45 a pack.
I brought this ring in today, got it appraised, found out it was worth $27 million.
(laughs) But it really wasn't.
It was worth $5,000 or $6,000, and that was a, you know, good thing in my book.
This bronze statue should have been worth $17,000.
Somehow or other, your, your guys blew it, and it came out to be about... $50!
$50 to $75.
And the clown painting that we thought we could retire on really isn't worth that much money, so we're going back to the casino.
And this is a Toni doll, and this is her hair permanent.
And she's worth about $100, $150-- bye!
(laughs) PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."