MARK WALBERG: "Antiques Roadshow" struck gold in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
She called it a poison dart ring.
You'd push down on the top, and that would shoot the dart into your enemy, who you were shaking hands with.
And I thought I'd seen everything.
♪ ♪ WALBERG: In Green Bay, "Antiques Roadshow" made a stop at the National Railroad Museum, where you don't have to be a train buff to appreciate the storied engines and trains of days gone by.
This locomotive titan, the aptly named "Big Boy," is almost half a football field long, and weighs over a million pounds.
Back at the Roadshow, a special poster that would appeal to both rail fans and movie lovers turned up in front of our cameras.
Take a look.
This was my dad's.
Daddy worked for Union Pacific Railroad for 42 years.
His father worked for Union Pacific, as did his grandfather, so it's kind of in our blood.
Daddy went to Omaha to the premiere of the movie "Union Pacific," and when he was leaving the theater, he saw a man from the production company, and these were hanging on the lamp posts in downtown Omaha.
And he said, "Can I have one of those?"
And the man said, "Well, you could, but I have no way of getting it down."
And Daddy said, "Not a problem."
He shimmied up the lamp post and unhooked the banner and then took it home with him.
What year did your dad get this?
He was born in 1918, so he was 21.
He shimmied and he pulled down a really fun piece.
They obviously used the logo of the Union Pacific Railroad Company in all of the marketing that they did for this film, and the film was a huge tour de force that Cecil B.
De Mille put out.
The film actually came out in 1939, and for movie buffs, 1939's a really big year, because we have "Wizard of Oz," we have "Gone With the Wind," "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," and "Union Pacific."
Now, "Union Pacific's" kind of been forgotten, I think, for a long time, because it's not "Gone With the Wind" or "Wizard of Oz."
Everyone kind of forgets all the other movies that came out that year.
But this was a really important film because it documented the 1862 Union Pacific Railroad expansion that Lincoln approved, and they were trying to do the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
And so this film documents that time period.
When they premiered the film, they actually decided to do it in Omaha in conjunction with all of these anniversaries.
It was the 70th anniversary of the golden spike ceremony, when they ceremonially put that golden spike to connect the Central and the Union Pacific railroads.
Since this film came out, and it was maybe overshadowed at the time-- it was supposed to be at the Cannes Film Festival.
The very first year they were going to do the Palme d'Or, in 1939, they canceled it because of the war.
So in 2002, Cannes decided to reshow, to a professional jury of six jury members, seven of the films that would have been out that year, to redo the year that never happened.
"Wizard of Oz" was on that list.
"Union Pacific" won.
So "Union Pacific" is technically the first winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival... Oh, that's neat.
...even though it was awarded in 2002.
No one's ever come up with one of these, so the fact that you have this from this premiere, that was this huge event that was premiering in three theaters in town, it's just really rare.
And I think at auction, it's tough to put a price because another one's not come up, but given the interest in the film now, I think we would probably estimate in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.
And I wouldn't be surprised if it did a lot more than that, because you also have railroad people who might be interested in the film.
It's a really-- it's a really great piece.
What would your dad think?
Oh, I started crying when I saw it hanging up here, because he loved "Antiques Roadshow," and this was his, and it just... yeah.
I mean, I just got... Well, it's really special.
Yeah, yeah, it was just-- to bring those worlds together, it's, like, "This is for you, Daddy."
I've been doing this "Antiques Roadshow" since the first year.
And I thought I'd seen everything.
(laughs) But obviously, I haven't.
How did you get this?
I was actually doing an internet search, and I found it online.
When I was younger, my parents would take us out to eat at this certain restaurant, and I remember when I was kid, behind the bar, had this rain lamp.
And I thought it was the coolest thing.
Years later, I saw one, and I'm, like, "All right."
I bought it, brought it home.
The wife wasn't very impressed with it, but I started collecting them, then.
So I've got several of the smaller versions, and then I found this one.
And I saw it, and I'm, like, "I've got to have that."
So I immediately contacted the gentleman and drove down that night to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and purchased it.
Now, how much did you have to pay for it?
He was asking $200, I bought it for $150.
So what have you found out about it since then?
The gentleman I bought it from said he bought it from another older gentleman who said it was from a 1968 car show.
And that seems reasonable-- it's got the Cadillac emblems on there, and I've never seen another one, so I don't know anything else.
You're not going to believe this.
One of the appraisers here at the show actually went to a car show in the '60s and saw these.
Which probably means there was more than one, okay?
But it's so fragile.
Are these monofilament lines here?
What are these?
These are basically fishing line.
A thicker, thicker line.
Like a heavy duty fishing line.
And the gentleman I did buy it from, he did say that he had heard there was four of them.
They had it on each side of the car.
He said after the show was over, two of them broke.
And he has no idea where the other one was, if it's still in existence today.
This is the essence of modern design at that time period.
One point I would make is that the bottom, and right there at the top, these are sort of a take-off on a Tulip Chair design that was by Eero Saarinen, who designed that in 1955.
Far as we know, I don't know that any other car companies used this.
I saw a can of mineral oil over there.
So I assume that's what's dripping down these, right?
I think back in the '60s, there was originally a different viscosity of oil that was used, but I found that regular mineral oil-- you buy it at the pharmacy...
...works just great.
The guys who collect this stuff have big garages, and they all subscribe to the theory that whoever dies with the most toys wins.
So we talked amongst ourselves, and we feel like a very conservative price on this at auction would be $3,000 to $5,000.
(chuckling): That's awesome.
That is great.
WOMAN: There was a department store downtown, and it apparently was one of their window displays, and a consignment shop popped up, and my mom scooped it up in, like, two seconds, so.
MAN: What did she have to pay for it?
Yeah, real cheap.
(laughs) You could see the seam here.
Slightly less expensive lamp, a producing glass, but original to the base, nonetheless.
Okay, thank you.
I don't think it's a poster from the era of the album, I think it's a poster from a much more recent time.
For the 20th anniversary.
So that would put it at 1987, but it's such a great Beatles image that I would see a Beatles lover paying $80, $100 for it, something like that.
MAN: I got it about 20, 25 years ago from a dealer in Green Bay.
APPRAISER: What you've brought us is a worker's badge from the Indian Packing Company.
It was a canned meats company.
What this really represents is the roots of the Green Bay Packers, and, of course, its legendary coach, player, and founder, Curly Lambeau, for whom the Green Bay Packers' field is named after.
Curly Lambeau, born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, went briefly to Notre Dame, played football briefly for Knute Rockne, and he was felled by a case of tonsillitis, he became ill.
So he came back and he started working for the Indian Packing Company.
He wanted to still play football, so he went to the owner, Frank Peck, and asked him for $500-- which was a lot of money in 1919-- for uniforms and to also have use of the playing field.
When Frank Peck gave it to him, he co-founded the team along with George Calhoun.
They start playing semi-pro teams, and then they joined the professional football league in 1921.
They went on to win six championships, and when he named the team, he named it after the Indian Packing Company, and that's how they got named the Green Bay Packers.
The Indian Packing Company, they only lasted two years and then they were absorbed by the Acme Packing Company.
So we know, we can date this from the actual roots, 1919 to 1921, right in there.
That's pretty neat.
So you paid how much?
Right around $20, $25.
Auction estimate would probably be about $1,500 to $2,000.
Is that right?
Oh... that's surprising.
WOMAN: You're looking at an Arts and Crafts album that was, I think, made in Santa Barbara, California.
There was a group of artists that did different things.
This is wood, and then inside, there is a picture that was done by hand, like the illuminations, I believe, that they put in the bibles, when they made... Maybe we can show some of the things you're talking about.
So this shows that it's wood... Wood.
This was an album, so...
It's a multi-media piece.
It's a, what kind of an album?
A photo album.
A photo album.
Missing some photos, but...
This is the drawing you're talking about... That's the drawing.
Actually a painting, looks like a watercolor, and the artist is in the back.
Right, and it mentions that-- it says, "Santa Barbara, California."
Charles Frederick Eaton.
And how did you acquire this?
My husband and I went to an auction.
It was a rainy day, and we had my son and my granddaughter in the car, so he got out and stood in the rain.
He was there for about 45 minutes and came back and handed it to me and said, "I think you might like this."
Let's close it for a second.
And show the front again.
Tell you a few things about this.
First of all, Charles Eaton was an artist, a painter, and was born in Rhode Island in 1842, and exhibited at the Paris Salon around 1880.
But a funny thing happened-- he got arm cramps while painting.
So he switched from painting to crafting, and he worked with metal and wood and mixed media.
He moved, because of his daughter's health, to Santa Barbara around 1890.
What I love about this the most-- and it's what I really want to talk about, it gets me very excited-- is that this is the pinnacle of Arts and Crafts expression, certainly in the United States, if not the world.
Because the Arts and Crafts movement started in England.
It started in Europe around 1870, 1880, and moved westward from England to Boston, then to New Orleans and Chicago, and finally ended up in California by the turn of the 20th century.
But what it bumped up against, aside from the Pacific Ocean, was the influence of Asian art that was coming from Asia to California.
So these two forces met, and they became manifest in many ways in American Arts and Crafts, which is why I think it's so mature and so sublime.
For example, you got a wrought copper and abalone shell lotus blossom by a master on a wooden base for a photo album.
It's just a fabulous piece of American Arts and Crafts, decorative art.
People look at this and see a photo album.
What I'm seeing is this culmination of Eastern and Western design, manifest in the artists' colony that was Santa Barbara in around 1910.
What did you pay for this?
Knowing my husband, probably not over $20.
The height of this market was probably a decade or so ago.
But it's such an exquisite piece, that even today, I think at auction, the value is somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000.
That's off its high-- it would've been... Oh, my gosh.
It would have been perhaps double that a decade ago, but still, $6,000 to $9,000 at auction I don't think is an unreasonable estimation by any stretch.
I mean, I knew it had value, and I knew that my children shouldn't sell it for, like, $10, $20, but that...
I've seen your show before, and I've seen people cry.
(voice breaking): I thought...
I went to a university book sale at U.W.-Oshkosh, and I saw a pile of maps in a corner, and I thought this looked very interesting, so I picked it up.
How much did you pay for it?
I think it was, like, three dollars.
Well, this is by Emma Bourne, the great Emma Bourne, who was an artist and an illustrator, and she was commissioned to do the map in 1940 by the Council Against Intolerance in America.
It was a society formed in New York City.
At the time, there were very many isolationist feelings in the states, so the council produced pamphlets, maps, and brochures about people who were living in the states at the time.
The most important aspect of this map-- there are many, many statistics, information, pictures.
It's beautifully drawn.
The most important aspect of it is the borderlessness.
If you look along, there are no state lines.
The artist eliminated the borders, and it becomes one great land.
So, here, you just-- you're seeing ribbons of nations and what they're all doing.
She's also brought to prominence industry and arts and literature.
You can see here in the index.
We have artists and where they're from.
Industry, and people from all over the world supporting the industry.
Science, and of course, number one, literature.
Which is-- it's a wonderful sentiment.
Typically, maps from this period are very much about topography and borders and politics.
And this is above that or beyond it.
And it's also wonderful artwork.
This map is an original lithograph with very vivid colors.
It hasn't faded.
It's barely been seen by the sun.
It probably wasn't even framed, although I see some pin holes here, but the colors are fresh and vivid.
It has the date here, copyright 1940, and the council didn't make very many, so I would call it rare.
I would retail it for around $1,500.
Thank you so much for bringing in this wonderful map.
Yes, thank you.
It's a pleasure to view it.
Oh, it's a pleasure to understand it.
WOMAN: I brought a ring that was in my family for many years.
My great-great-grandfather immigrated to Milwaukee in 1864.
He was 19 years old.
He was an apprentice jeweler.
He started a family there, but then moved to Chicago, where he opened a jewelry store.
Had that for many years, I don't know how long.
And this was from his jewelry store.
It was given to my grandmother, who, in turn, gave it to my aunt.
Aunt Betty was very close with our family.
She would come to our house in Michigan, she came for Sunday dinner, and she gave this to me when she was ill, was getting older.
The story she told me was that Grandpa said these were a perfect match diamond, so I'd just like to find out what you think about that.
It's a lovely, lovely ring.
They are what we call an old European cut, it's an older-style cut.
Now, today, the more modern stones are cut, the facets slightly different.
These have open culets in them.
I measured the stones and they are almost identically matched.
One stone I estimated weighs two carats, and the other weighs just slightly more, 2.05 carats.
The top stone is the stone that's slightly larger.
The color is very nice on them-- it's not a perfect color, but a very high color.
They are, like, an H to an I color.
So they're basically colorless to the human eye.
In the sunlight, they would be extremely brilliant.
They're very clean stones.
There is a slight chip on the girdle, which is the edge of the stone, on one of them.
Probably got hit on a sink or something and it got-- it's a slight chip, just on the very edge of the stone.
That could easily be polished and could be fixed.
When do you think he gave this to your grandmother?
I would say this was made in the early 1900s?
Well, they're certainly cut like they were from the early, they could be from the early 1900s.
The mounting looks a little later, so it probably was remounted at one time.
Did you ever have this appraised?
No, I've never had it appraised.
And I don't know that anyone had, I don't think Aunt Betty did, either.
If you had to venture a guess, what would you guess the valuation on the piece is?
We thought maybe a couple of thousand dollars.
The diamond market is very strong right now.
I would say that these two stones, being matched, which also increases the value of the stones because it's difficult to find two matching stones.
You can go through thousands of stones trying to find two stones that match.
These two stones, in a retail situation today, would easily be about $15,000 each, so you're looking at $30,000 for the two diamonds.
Oh, my goodness.
That's remarkable news.
(laughs) A little more than $2,000.
(laughing): Yes, sir.
Well, thank you so much.
It's very difficult to identify it as to the company that made it.
It was a novelty thing, and its value has worn out, so to speak.
Great thing about it is, you have the memories.
And you played football with it.
We played football with it.
(laughing) APPRAISER: This is a reproduction.
When they made in the '70s, they're coming out of the woodwork now in the last ten years.
But they're quite lovely, but they're not the original.
I'd say probably about $75... All right, thank you.
WOMAN: Great, thank you so much.
It's actually Chinese.
This was done probably in the late '80s.
It's a print, so it was made in large numbers.
But it's got a lot of striking appeal, and I would guess that the value on it is going to be in the $75 to $125 range.
Awesome, thank you.
WOMAN: A friend of mine was cleaning out an estate, and she had a pile of stuff that she was going to throw in the trash, and asked me if I'd like to come through and pick anything out before she threw it away.
And I spotted these paper dresses, and I had never seen a paper dress before, so I grabbed them.
I thought they were something special.
Well, you're right, they are paper dresses.
They were first started in 1966, and they were popular for a few years.
They were throwaway clothing, because you could wear them once or twice and then you just threw them away.
They say that you cannot wash them, because that removes the fire retardant on them.
This one is quite fabulous, because it's got that whole '60s op art, wavy, psychedelic look to it.
It has an original price on it of six dollars, which was actually quite high for these dresses at that time.
And this one is a fabulous color combination, the bright electric blue and the turquoise.
There's a wide range of prices on paper dresses.
This one, I would say, is probably in the $200, $250 range.
Uh-huh, that's good.
This one is probably $300 to $350 range.
At retail-- it's a retail price in a nice vintage clothing shop.
Wow, that's nice.
WOMAN: This is a painting from my childhood.
It was always hanging in our house when, as I was growing up as a kid.
My grandfather was the art director for "McCall's" magazine, so he got to meet a lot of different artists and work with a lot of different studios.
And the story is that he did some work with the Disney studio, and in return, he got this painting.
And they just gave it to him?
As far as I know, yes.
And now it's yours, so you've had it how many years, now?
Oh, my gosh, almost 50.
When I first saw this, I thought it was a print, and I was trying to figure out what the story was, because it's absolutely awesome, but looking more closely, I realize it is a painting.
It's watercolor, gouache kind of painting, and it's absolutely extraordinary.
We found this printed in "McCall's."
Oh, you did?
It was printed in a "McCall's" in 1941.
So that's what really got me excited, also, but what's really interesting, I think some of these characters were still in production phases, because I'm not sure all of these characters came out in movies before 1941.
You have everything from the dancing ostriches and hippos from "Fantasia."
The three pigs from "Big Bad Wolf" cartoons, which is one of their first.
You have Ferdinand.
He was the stork that brought Dumbo to his mother.
And of course, Timothy Mouse was the one who gave the feather to Dumbo so he could fly.
Even the Reluctant Dragon, I mean...
Some of these characters are very obscure, and of course, we've got Bambi.
It's just absolutely amazing that all these characters are in this.
The fact that it was printed in a magazine, the fact that we can absolutely date it to 1941, just helps a lot in terms of the value when you see something like this.
Some people would say, "Who's the artist?"
He didn't like to publicize his artists.
He kept them off working, and it was all Disney.
It's one of a kind.
It's just totally extraordinary.
As far as value, we think a reasonable auction estimate would be in the $6,000 to $8,000 range.
And that might be conservative.
WOMAN: My grandmother saw it in a jewelry store window in San Francisco in the early 1920s or before, and she was quite taken with it, and she bought it.
And she called it a poison dart ring, but apparently, there are no darts involved.
How did she come to the idea that it's a poison dart ring?
It has a little hole in it through which, apparently there used to be a button, but she thought that a dart would go in and you'd push down on the top of the ring, and that would shoot the dart into your enemy who you were shaking hands with.
She was told it was worn on the thumb.
And she was told that Cellini made it for Queen Isabella.
However, Queen Isabella died when Cellini was four, so we don't quite believe that one.
Have you ever showed this to anybody, gotten any opinions?
I showed it to someone who thought that it was a Renaissance piece and gave me a jewelry value, but they didn't know anything else about it.
They've never seen anything like it.
I think that it's not a Renaissance ring, I think it's a Renaissance Revival ring.
The Renaissance Revival took place in England and Italy and other parts around Europe from between around 1860 through around 1900.
It's sort of a reaction to industrialization.
It's a return to an older aesthetic when things were simpler.
We feel that it's probably made in England.
I don't think it shoots poison darts, but it is a poison ring.
Or it's made in the form of a poison ring.
What we're looking at here is an 18-karat gold ring which is in the shape of a salamander, or maybe some sort of a frog.
And it's set with rose-cut diamonds of different cuts.
There's round ones and triangular ones and a pear-shaped one.
And then it's got table-cut diamonds, and these are all diamond shapes that would have been used in the 15th, 16th century, when Renaissance jewelry was being made.
But the ring is really heavy-- it's very heavy gold.
And the Renaissance jewelry is much lighter, it's hollowed out.
Now, it does open.
The frog, or salamander, has been enameled nicely on the inside with colored enamels.
If I turn this ring over, we can see Champlevé enamel underneath, done in sort of an Arts and Crafts pattern, where there's been a coil of green enamel, and then leaves enameled in with the blue over here.
I'm not sure that it's a thumb ring.
I suspect it might be a gent's ring.
Men in the 19th century wore more jewelry than in the 20th century.
Or there's another possibility: women would wear rings on the outside of their gloves.
Do you have any idea, now, of what the material value of the piece was?
Someone told us that it was-- that the jewelry value, just the stones and the gold, was about $1,000.
We were talking about it at the table, and just because it's so exciting-- it's such an interesting form, it's exotic, it's a wild animal... Yeah, it's really fun.
People like wild animal jewelry.
We feel that at auction, this ring would take an estimate in the range of $5,000 to $7,000.
Oh, that's great.
It's not for sale.
It was made, kind of, in the style of Italian Renaissance pottery, but then the addition of the flowers is a very 20th-century sort of thing.
The handle looks like it's been broken off and glued back a long time ago.
Because of the condition, it's probably only worth maybe $25.
APPRAISER: These are lithographs that he created for a work on Paris.
They were issued in a portfolio, and then removed from that portfolio and framed up by somebody at some point.
Retail today, on the pair together, would be probably about $1,200, $1,300.
Good for you.
WOMAN: Thank you.
Very good-- thank you.
"Also visited Hiroshima, "where the atomic bomb was dropped.
It's hard to imagine a more terrifying thing."
I would probably put, as an insurance value, somewhere in the $300 to $400 range, as a group.
WOMAN: I have a cleaning service.
I work for a doctor, and I have been working for him for over 15 years.
He had his house up for sale, and moving in a condo, and he invited us in to pick out some pieces that we'd be interested in, and I said, "I want that."
He said, "Nah, I don't think so."
Then a week later, he called me and he said, "We'll let you have it for $1,000."
It's a little bit tricky for me to evaluate because it's under plexiglass, and I can't look at the back of the rug.
And oftentimes, the back reveals a lot of clues about its age and its origin, but I'm really confident for a number of reasons, this is an Isfahan rug, which is a very finely woven rug from Iran.
And the inscription is both in Farsi and in English underneath, signed by the workshop of Mehdi Dardashti, and it also has the city that it was woven in, which is Isfahan.
I think the piece dates from the 1940 to 1950 era, which is very early for one of these.
There was a revival of this style of weaving where they're depicting a scene that you would see in a 15th-century Persian miniature.
One thing that's remarkable is this shade of green, the border.
It's an outstanding color, and the wool, I believe, is Manchester wool, which is imported wool from England.
It's woven on a silk foundation, which enabled them to weave a rug that probably has in the neighborhood of 600 knots per square inch.
You just don't see pieces of this quality very often.
There were a lot of these that were made in the '70s and '80s that don't match up to this.
I would strongly encourage you to insure this for about $20,000.
Aw... MAN: This would've been purchased by my grandmother.
She and her sisters were artists, watercolor artists.
They would go over to Chicago occasionally.
We're quite sure that this was purchased in Chicago, and it would have resided in my great-grandfather's house until that sort of got broken up when my last aunt died.
I technically inherited the painting when my father broke up his house in Tucson, Arizona, which would've been about ten years ago.
Well, it's a wonderful example of the American Impressionist artist Wilson Irvine's work.
And Wilson Irvine was born in Illinois, and was a commercial artist in Chicago, but studied art at the Art Institute at night.
And he became one of the great guiding lights of the American Impressionist movement, known for beautiful scenes such as this.
The other aspect of Irvine that's interesting is that he was one of the early travelers around the country to the different art colonies.
He went to Connecticut, to the Old Lyme art colony, and he went north of Boston to the Cape Ann area, where this painting was painted.
It's a scene of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
And Gloucester has long been a haven for artists.
You have wonderful things, such as the City Hall.
Oh, I didn't-- okay, all right.
Yes, and there is a church, and then this is one of the wharf buildings.
It's a really wonderful example of the broken light, the water, the palette of American Impressionism.
The painting is oil on canvas, and it's in very good condition.
I think it could do with a nice cleaning.
Probably never has.
No, it's in beautiful, original condition, as is the carved frame, which is original to the piece.
The frame has seen a little bit of wear and tear and so on.
The frame can certainly be restored.
Frame restoration is not inexpensive.
I have the eye of someone who's been in the business for a long time, so my scale of condition is different than yours.
I think it's in great condition.
I would probably not touch it at all.
I think we're looking at a painting that was probably done 1918, 1919, and is really emblematic of his style.
The big story here, though-- and I love talking about the art colonies, because it was such a time of cross-pollenization between the different artists.
They would travel in the summer and just had a great time learning from their compatriots.
The real story here, though, is the American Impressionist market.
And I'm so used to my colleagues talking about brown furniture, and how brown furniture isn't doing as well as it had been.
American Impressionism is having a bit of a dip now.
This is arguably one of the finest Wilson Irvines I've seen of a classic, coastal view of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
It has everything that you would want in a Gloucester scene, and everything you would want in a Wilson Irvine.
That said, time and tide wait for no painting, and the market isn't as vibrant as it had been ten, 15 years ago.
At auction, I would estimate it between $15,000 and $25,000.
Okay, very good.
Well, thank you-- I'm surprised.
Ten, 20 years ago, I would've estimated a piece of this quality, subject, and style, and wonderful provenance, at perhaps $50,000 to $75,000, $75,000 to $125,000.
Those days are gone for a bit.
But it's still the same painting.
It's still the same wonderful painting.
Well... c'est la vie.
MAN: I acquired it from my father-in-law.
He was a doctor in Wyoming for many years, quite a historical person, into the Indian arts and cowboy history, so I acquired it from him.
From what I know about the pistol, it actually belonged to a Texas Ranger who had eventually moved up to Wyoming.
My understanding was he was a sheriff there in Wyoming, for several years.
So he was a Texas Ranger and he retired to Wyoming to become the local sheriff?
He actually, when he lived in Texas, was on a couple of cattle drives that ended up in Wyoming, and then he did move up there after he was done in Texas.
Where did your father-in-law get this?
He got it directly from the family of the Ranger.
Probably back in the early '50s, I would say.
Texas Rangers were an interesting group of guys.
And this was exactly the kind of revolver that they would want to use.
It's a Colt six-shot, .45-caliber, single-action Army revolver.
Also known as "The Peacemaker."
It was one of Colt's most popular products, the original design of the revolver was for the 1872 government service pistol trials.
Of which Colt eventually did secure a government contract to produce pistols, but this clearly is not one of those pistols.
We know the revolver was made in 1884, as indicated by the serial number, which is generally located here.
On the base of the revolver.
Okay, all right.
And there's the patent dates of the revolver, which are much earlier than the date of manufacture.
And one of the main factors in collecting Colt firearms is whether or not it's originally factory engraved or not.
The premium is paid for the factory-grade examples.
Now, that said, the characteristic of this engraving is actually period.
It comes from the 1880s.
And if you contact the Colt archives, they'll probably indicate that the revolver was shipped to, probably, a New York retailer, like Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham.
And it may have even been shipped in what they call the "blue."
With a blue finish on it.
And it probably had either wood or rubber grips at the time.
And Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham sent it out to their engravers in the city, and they just had it stripped down, and had this very characteristic, New York-style engraving on it.
And these beautiful mother-of-pearl grips.
This was done not as a government service, but as a private purchase, where somebody wanted a very splashy firearm.
Have you ever had it appraised?
No, I have not, never.
It's basically been-- since I acquired it-- in a safety deposit box.
That's a good place for it.
Any guesses of what you think the value is, or...?
You know I... As a rough idea, I would think maybe around $2,500, somewhere in there.
In my opinion, at auction, I would put a presale estimate on the gun of around $15,000 to $20,000.
Very... very good.
I didn't expect that.
That's... that's quite a bit higher than I would've thought.
If you look at the label inside, this company made the heavy coats that you would wear to work outside in the North.
And so these coats are typical of this area, up here in Wisconsin, Montana.
We see this type of thing come in to the Roadshow.
APPRAISER: It's the most important part, and it has some chips.
Because of this condition, it's probably $800 to $1,200.
APPRAISER: The United States got involved in World War I.
We had a fairly small army to begin with.
They needed to make a big army, really, really fast, so they built these cantonments all around the United States to train the men to go overseas and fight.
Camp Custer was one of those.
Because of its impressive size, and the fact that it's in decent condition, you're looking at a banner that would retail in the neighborhood of $100.
Whereas most of them are ten and $20.
MAN: My mother purchased this about 70 years ago at a local antique shop to hang above the piano.
And there was a picture of myself and my sister.
I got the clock and my sister got the piano.
There's a picture here of a woman, and she was bare-breasted, but my mother didn't want us children to see that, so she scratched them off.
And she told me that about ten, 15 years ago.
Well, it is a pretty clock.
It's a Victorian clock.
Heavily carved, black walnut was the wood.
It was made by the William L. Gilbert Clock Company, and they were in Winsted, Connecticut.
Now, I don't know if you notice the calendar hand is no longer on there, but these numbers, one through 31...
I had no idea.
...that was for a calendar.
That was a-- indicated to me an upmarket clock, and wow, look at the case.
And also, this is a crystal pendulum on here that's etched and then mirrored in the back.
And not many clocks had that.
This is an eight-day clock, strikes on the hour and the half-hour.
The average Victorian parlor clock would sell, in an unrestored condition, for about $150 today.
Your clock was better.
I would say that the retail value, in unrestored condition, probably about $700.
MAN: I got it from a neighbor.
He was showing me a guitar that his grandparents had.
They had found in their attic.
They said, "Hey, do you want it?"
Because they didn't want it.
I know a little bit about it, that it's a Regal guitar.
And what I found out online is, Regal made guitars in Chicago, I believe, from the early 1900s to 1940s, and that's about all I know about it.
It's a Regal.
There's a label on the inside of the sound hole and also another badge on the back of the headstock.
But what makes it so unusual, of course, is this double volcanoes, Hawaiian stenciled scene on the top.
And then the celluloid decoration on the... That's what caught my eye, the fretboard.
Yeah, it's hard to miss.
It was made in the 1930s.
We don't know exactly what year, somewhere before 1935 or '36, certainly, and after 1930.
It was originally sold as a Hawaiian guitar, so it was intended to be played on the lap with a steel bar, and these designs, of course, would wear pretty badly if you were playing it in a conventional position.
The straight saddle that tells us it was intended for Hawaiian, it's straight this way, whereas if it was for conventional playing, it would be angled.
What makes it interesting for today's market, in terms of the player, is that Regal made a lot of guitars.
They made a lot of inexpensive guitars.
But this one, they used the same kind of X-bracing in the top, so the braces run across in an X pattern, and then transverse braces below that.
So it's braced like the Martins and Gibsons of the era, and it can be converted for conventional playing style.
The neck is a little heavy, but a lot of people like those big necks, and so it'll get used as a regular Spanish-style guitar.
It's going to have a great sound, very thin top, very light construction.
It has the original tuners.
The neck is maple.
The body, the back and sides are mahogany, spruce top.
It's top-grade materials all the way.
In a specialty guitar shop, set up for conventional playing style, this guitar would easily sell for $2,000.
(laughing): Two grand!
That's not bad.
(laughs) Yeah, you've got a good eye.
Not bad for-- I just-- the decorating caught my eye more than anything.
Well, my whole family was a Foreign Service family, and we traveled, we moved about every two-and-a-half years.
And in the spring of 1958, my father moved to Santiago de Cuba as the consul at the U.S. Consulate there, and we followed that summer.
We lived there for just about two years, during the revolution.
Yeah, the Cuban Revolution occurred.
So you were eyewitness to the Cuban Revolution?
Eyewitness and ears.
You learned to come in if the bullets were flying more than a couple miles close to the house.
You learned to do that.
I was nine and ten when I was there, and you kept the windows closed at Christmas because Christmas trees were counter-revolutionary, and things like that.
My father was called away soon after we got there because the rebels in Oriente Province and the Sierra Maestra, which was Raúl Castro's area of the revolution...
...kidnapped a busload of American sailors, and he was tasked with going and negotiating their release.
The person in the white shirt with his back to us, right there, is my dad.
And he's listening to a very young Raúl Castro.
And the photo below is another close-up of Raúl Castro with your father?
It looks to me like that's later in the progress and perhaps they've come to some agreements by then for the release.
And I have to note this armband on the young Raúl Castro here.
Over here, on the other side of the table, we have an actual armband.
What did that mean to the revolutionaries?
It is the day of their declaration.
It's the date the revolution began.
It's the emblematic date that everybody wore on their sleeve.
This is an interesting picture just because my dad is there, but also Raúl, and you can see the conversation around the table.
That's where they did a lot of their negotiating.
And some of these photographs you took yourself?
The photos up here and down here were in January of 1959, which is just as the Cuban rebels came in and were victorious and moved into Santiago.
And so there was a huge celebration and lots of campesinos-- farmers-- were bussed in from the countryside to celebrate.
And the last row of photographs, could you describe those to me, please?
Those are-- that's my father laying out a signal for landing strip for the Navy helicopters that were coming in from Guantánamo to help pick up the sailors who were being released.
And you can see some of the sailors down in that photo.
And he received the Department of State Superior Service Medal for that.
He never actually met Fidel, but my mother did, and we all were out in the beginning, because it was a very exciting time when the rebels first came into town.
It was a very populistic sight, everybody was excited.
We've got another photograph on the top of this large pile.
We should mention, these are "LIFE" magazine photographs, taken by the photographer...
They were taken by George Skadding, the "LIFE" photographer, and given as a personal gift following their time together in the mountains to my father.
Some of them have appeared in "LIFE" magazine.
That's a really interesting point, because many of these are photographs that were published in "LIFE" magazine at the time, but many of these photographs have never been published or ever seen before by the public.
So your two years there, it covered the entire pre- to post-revolution, is that correct?
And as well-known and documented as the Cuban Revolution is, your family's story and its history isn't.
And your father wrote the story, is that correct?
This is the manuscript that your father wrote?
Yeah, that's an unpublished manuscript that he put together when he was back in the U.S.
This is a truly remarkable archive.
I really hope your family's story gets out here, it really deserves to be told.
It was a wonderful place to live.
All of that-- revolution aside-- the people were wonderful, and it was a gorgeous place.
But yet, as a young girl, weren't you scared sometimes?
I spent some nights under my mother's bed, unbeknownst to her, sometimes, and I learned to avoid the windows when they were moving medications through our yards as they would shoot around the windows.
I collected bullets of various calibers and could identify the size of the holes in my house by the caliber or by ear, at a distance.
(laughing): Yeah, well, you did what you needed to do.
So they were actually shooting into your house?
Not into, just to keep us from looking out the windows.
You have far more documents, photographs, and other historic materials.
For the archive that you've brought here, I would put a value, at retail, on just the collection that we've talked about and have here today, at $5,000.
It's a metal sculpture I've had for at least 25 years that I bought from my brother when he had an art gallery in Birmingham, Michigan.
I know it's a Harry Bertoia sculpture.
Since I bought it, I know the artist has died.
I have no idea what the current value is.
That's the main reason I came today.
What compelled you to purchase it?
Well, I used to visit my brother on weekends.
He had this exhibited in the front window, and after three trips and it was still there, I just seemed to like it.
He said he would give me a ten percent discount, so I bought it.
The friends and family discount?
So how much did you pay for it at the time?
I paid $14,000 for it.
That's quite a bit of money.
So do you have it out at home?
Do you have it on display?
I have it on a pedestal at home.
It's had a little transition over the years because my children started having grandchildren, and they would come and visit, and then, unbeknownst to me, they would grab the wires, and it got about five or eight wires that got bent.
And then I thought that ruined it, and I was going to try to resell it, but they said they couldn't do that, so I sent it back, with the gallery's help, sent it back to the Bertoia Foundation about ten years ago and had it refurbished.
Now the kids are older and I have it out, and it's behaving itself.
When you sent it to the Harry Bertoia Foundation, what was the charge?
Do you remember the charge for refurbishing?
Yeah, well, my brother's partner called me up and said it came back and that I should write him a check for $2,000, but I never saw the bill, so I think that's what it cost, but I'm not certain.
It is made out of stainless steel.
It's called "The Spray."
When you touch, it just has this wonderful sense of movement.
Harry Bertoia was just a really interesting Renaissance man.
He was involved in all different aspects of art and fine art.
Italian-born, studied in this country, studied in Michigan, probably pretty close to where it was purchased from.
He was there in the 19... late '30s and '40s, at the Cranbrook school.
His career took off.
He made furniture designs for Knoll in Pennsylvania, and I think that funded him to be able to spend time on what he wanted to do, which was sculpture.
But this, you know, it has the movement and I can see how it'd be very, very appealing for small hands to want to play.
I think you did the right thing by sending it to the foundation.
Harry Bertoia's an important figure, and there's certainly a lot of attention made towards making sure that works that are offered have a good provenance and they were a product of his work, that they're not later reproductions.
And often, one of the steps that is done is to have the foundation weigh in as to authenticity.
And is that something that they did when you sent it for repair, or...?
Yeah, my brother has since died, but his partner got it back and said-- but I didn't know how much truth he was always telling me-- and he gave me a figure that the foundation said it could be worth like, $70,000, $80,000, $90,000, and I thought, "Well, I don't know if that's true or not."
And so I just took it home and kept it.
It is an unusually large piece.
Bertoia sculptures, for "The Spray," some of them are just merely inches tall.
This is probably one of the largest of this form that was made.
Is that right?
So they don't come up very often.
Certainly, the smaller ones are more prevalent at auction.
I think with documentation from the Harry Bertoia Foundation stating that it is authentic, it was made in the mid-1960s, that you would look at an auction estimate in today's market probably between $50,000 and $75,000.
The other motivation was, I still have it insured at the original purchase price, so that's... that's interesting.
I think for insurance purposes, in today's market, you probably want to be looking closer to $100,000.
Is that right?
I guess I'll have to call the agent.
(laughing) Do an update, yes.
WALBERG: You're watching "Antiques Roadshow" WALBERG: And now, it's time for the Roadshow Feedback Booth.
We came here hoping this vase was worth $1 million, $2 million.
Little did we know, the cobwebs inside of it are worth more than the vase itself.
Who'd think my 50-cent Chewbacca from a rummage sale was worth $200?
I love "Antiques Roadshow!"
This heirloom duck decoy was worth about $50.
(laughs) Kind of a let-down, but we had fun.
Today we brought what we hoped was Pop Art, a long-lost Warhol... (laughing) ...but we found out that it isn't.
We brought this sword because my husband has been carting it around for 25 years and keeping it in his gun safe.
And we found out today at the Antiques Roadshow, it's worth $20.
(laughing) We told the kids we were going to move to Mexico, but I guess we're going to have to settle for Dad's tacos.
I brought this painting in today.
The painting itself was only worth $50, but the frame was worth $500... if I wouldn't have dropped it on the way in.
I did find out that the wooden skis that I have are $150 wall-hangings.
So that's exactly what they're going to become.
They're going to hang on my wall, and I'll appreciate them there.
I learned my mask will be great for Halloween.
And I brought my cowboy, and he's pretty cool, and pretty valuable, as well.
WALBERG: I'm Mark Walberg-- thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow."