♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: "Antiques Roadshow Recut" has more masterpieces to discover from the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
Condition, condition, condition.
This one... this one has that in spades.
(laughs) Well, then, I'm glad.
(grunts, chuckles) Awesome.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: In this second half-hour of "Antiques Roadshow Recut," we're back at the Crocker Art Museum, which was the first public art museum in California and one of the earliest in the American West.
In the Gold Rush Gallery, a masterpiece of California art can be found: "Great Canyon of the Sierra Yosemite."
This oil on canvas was created in 1871 by Thomas Hill, who is known for his paintings of the Yosemite Valley and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Crocker purchased it for $10,000, an enormous price at the time.
Today, Hill's works can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.
Our experts are seeing lots of interesting objects at the Crocker today.
Has anyone struck gold?
Let's find out.
WOMAN: I went to answer an ad in a penny saver.
It was an ad for a mattress set, and I was a starving student in college.
I went to go buy the mattress set, and I met the person, and I saw the chair.
And I just fell in love with its design, and she allowed me to sit in the chair, the owner.
But she told me it's not for sale.
And so I said, "Oh, my goodness, I love this chair."
It felt so wonderful.
She said, "I'd only sell it to the right person."
I left her my name and my number.
A couple of weeks later, she called me, and she said, "You're the person."
And she said, "How much could you afford?"
And I said, "Maybe $25."
And she said, "Okay, um... How about $23?"
(chuckling): And so that's what I bought the chair for.
And then, a couple of years later, I was in a bookstore, and I was looking at a book about Nelson Rockefeller's house, and there is the chair.
I found this name, George Nakashima.
It was before internet, so I didn't have that advantage.
So about nine years ago, I'm at a party here in Sacramento.
A man walks in, he's kind of a cowboy.
I said, "What do you do?"
And he says, "I'm a walnut farmer."
And I said, "Nuts?"
And he said, "No, wood."
I told him about the chair and I said, "I think it was made by George Nakashima."
And he goes, "I know George!"
And he tells me about how he was sourcing walnut to George.
It's something, a part of my life.
And it's in my living room, and my kids sit on it, and we just enjoy the chair.
It is very early in his career.
In the late '40s, after he was interned during World War II in a Japanese camp, he was exposed to Japanese traditional woodworking techniques there.
His first designs, of which this is one of the first designs, had a very strong Japanese traditional feel to it.
Hundreds and even thousands of years of Japanese woodworking had really remained unchanged, and traditional techniques had been passed down from generation to generation.
George was taking those techniques, honoring them, but then shaping that tradition gently towards modernism.
And what this chair is, it's a very elegant, sophisticated, modern version of a traditional Japanese crafted chair.
By the time he died in 1990, he had been making them continuously for over 40 years.
And his daughter Mira is continuing that tradition and making them today, so there's quite a lot of them that, that are out there.
There are also quite a lot of people who wanted to make chairs that looked like George's.
So how do we know that this is by George?
I don't know.
A couple of little small details.
The grass seat is original.
This is seagrass that's tightly woven, which is a traditional Japanese technique.
It's completely put together with wood pegs.
This was all crafted by hand.
These side rail spindles here are pegged right here on the side.
That's typically a traditional woodworking technique, but George had a very specific way of creating those and attaching them to the rest of the structure.
Also, these side rail spindles are shaped by hand.
The legs, which are also hand-turned, turned on a lathe...
Some chairs that I've seen by other makers never have those types of subtle details that George had.
So this chair is by George Nakashima.
Uh, and it's known as the Grass Seat Chair.
And it's very hard to date it, except by looking at the patina.
The original oiled finish is a little worn, but it has a really wonderful warm patina.
And what year did you buy it?
So George was still alive at that time.
They were made exactly the same between the late '40s and the time you purchased it in 1986.
But I would think that this chair is probably from the mid-1960s.
The wood is American black walnut.
These were made in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
You paid $23 in 1986.
What do think it's worth today?
(inhales, exhales) Okay, I'm gonna just go for it, I'll say $2,300?
That's a pretty good guess.
This chair, at auction, typically sells for between $2,000 and $2,500.
Thank you so much.
They're rarely marked.
I've probably sold a hundred of these chairs... Really?
Over 30 years, and I have never seen one that was marked.
And so it is John Christopher Miles, who was a Canadian artist but ended up moving to Massachusetts and lived just outside of Boston.
He rarely dated his paintings.
He rarely signed his paintings.
So there's very little known about him.
You happen to have one of the few signed and dated examples.
So, John, I'm looking at these prices for tickets.
They look like what you would pay for a soda and a hot dog.
(laughs) It's a little bit different now, unfortunately, the, uh...
I would have a lot more money if that was the price if I took a kid to a game right now, unfortunately.
In 1933, my grandmother was hired as a companion for an older lady, and they went to Hawaii, and they were there for 18 months.
And while she was there, she learned to play ukulele, and the hula.
And when she came home, she brought it with her, and I inherited it when she passed in 1984.
So when did she come back from Hawaii?
In... May or June of 1934.
Well, there's a label inside this that states that Kamaka took out a patent on the ukulele design on it in 1928.
So we know that it's between that period.
They had been making this ukulele in, in the pineapple shape for some time with different kinds of decoration on the face.
Sometimes they would paint the whole face like a pineapple, and sometimes they would actually paint the pineapple design in the finish.
But by this time, they were trying to make more of them, and so they, they patented the, the pineapple concept.
The pineapples on the head stock and on the face, they're actually a foil sticker.
And what makes this one so exceptional is that it just sparkles.
The fact that it came back from Hawaii is probably a good thing, because it didn't get a lot of humidity.
It doesn't need anything.
It has its original tuners, and it just needs a set of strings, and it's ready to go.
Oh, wow, okay.
In a specialty shop, it would probably have a retail value of around $1,200.
I'm so surprised!
Well, condition, condition, condition.
(laughs) This one, this one has that in spades.
Well, then, I'm glad.
Well, that's fantastic.
APPRAISER: I'm thinking they're fish scales.
And I... my guess is from the Philippines or somewhere in the East.
Got some little shells here.
Some little faux curls there.
It's wired, I've got a butterfly here, but you can definitely see the ridges on some of these pieces.
I brought this beautiful jar I found in an estate sale.
I think I only paid $40 for this.
I loved the colors, the composition.
PEÑA: The Crockers collected an impressive number of paintings of California scenes.
German-born artist turned California resident Charles Christian Nahl was an acclaimed painter and lithographer of the California Gold Rush.
This piece, "Sunday Morning in the Mines," created in 1872, is the best-known of the works commissioned by the Crockers.
The allegorical painting depicts virtuous miners starting their day on the right and the antics of those less upstanding on the left.
♪ ♪ I brought a clock that was given to my grandfather, who was an eye doctor.
In 1895, one of his patients gave this to him.
It was in our house where I grew up in San Francisco for probably about 30 years.
Every minute another ball would drop, and you'd hear it go down the ramp.
In a qui-- quiet living room you can hear the ball come down.
It made that same sound and it's so familiar to me over the years.
Narrowed it down between Austria and France for the country of origin.
Well, the clock is French.
We have a green onyx base.
They loved this in the latter part of the 19th century.
Brass and steel construction.
This type of clock a lot of times you'll hear them referred to as a water wheel clock.
No water involved.
There's a lot of reproductions, and I think the first thing I want to mention is: be really careful when you're looking at this form of clock.
You can be an expert 99% of the time by saying each one of those is a fake.
There's a tremendous number of fakes out in the market.
Fortunately you brought us a great clock here today.
The clock dates from, I'm going to say, about 1880.
I don't know the maker.
It's not signed.
But whomever made it was very capable, very, uh... good clockmaker.
The quality of the movement is superior.
Had you ever heard of a value or thought about a value on the clock?
Well, in the '60s there was a fellow in "The Seattle" advertising one like it for $25,000 or best offer.
I saw a reproduction on an internet site.
They claimed it was a reproduction.
They wanted $7,500 for it.
I don't have any idea what something like that's worth.
In today's market, the retail value on the clock would be $15,000.
And it also gives a person a little bit of pleasure because you have to fiddle with it a little bit.
You do have a relationship with this one.
(chuckles) It's interesting to me that you, you put the gloves on as, as you handle this.
I don't know whether the patina holds up to the oils on your skin.
The patina should hold up fine to the oils on your skin.
And I would even recommend, as you handle this in the future, just feel free to kind of get the hands on.
This is beautifully patinated bronze.
It's, it's very, very fine.
It's a sophisticated construction with a beautiful stand, which I think is fantastic.
Well, my parents bought it, um, in 1964.
When I was growing up, I thought it was actually a picture of my mother, but the story is that it's from a newspaper advertisement for Serta Perfect Sleeper.
And so this was the lady in the advertisement waking up on the mattress, and having a nice stretch, and feeling so good about the morning.
And at some point, I realized it was also a little bit kind of creepy and weird that she's having this dream about the Cossacks coming to rape and pillage, and she's got this little smile on her face.
And I guess my stepmother wasn't real sure about it, either, because she didn't really want it in the bedroom.
And so my dad took it to the hallway of the office where he worked, and there was a portrait artist that came into his office, and saw it hanging there and said, "You know, that's really very valuable.
"And if you'd like to sell it, I will sell it for you, and I'll keep half the proceeds and give you half."
Rather than do that, Dad brought it home and put it in the garage.
I happened to be going by the house one day just a few years ago, and, and he was talking about how he needed to clean out the garage, and we went out to take a look and he said, "Do you want this?
No one else wants it."
And I said, "Of course I want it."
One family member found out that I had it and was a little upset, because they felt that it's a valuable painting and I shouldn't just get it.
So my dad gave each of the siblings a check for $12,000, and gave me a letter of ownership saying, "I value this painting at $12,000, and I'm giving it to my daughter."
And so I ended up with it, and my husband won't let me hang it in our bedroom.
Um, and so it's in the guest room and just a beloved piece of my childhood.
Well, Ralph Goings is known more as a Photorealist.
This is one of his earlier works, in the early '60s, when he was doing more figural works.
His Photorealists is what people really want.
And they go well into six figures for the paintings.
This one, because it's that early, and because figural, it's not always the...
It's not the prized one, but it's certainly worth more than what your dad wrote a note for.
(laughing) Right now, I'd put an insurance value on this at $75,000.
Then it definitely made up for the fact that I spent as much on the carrying case that I brought it here in as my parents spent on it when they first bought it back in '64.
How much... How much did they spend?
Crocker's appreciation for art met his passion for the abolitionist movement in this tabletop sculpture, "The Slave Auction," created in 1859 by John Rogers.
More than just a scene of a family tragedy, the piece, often called "Uncle Tom's Cabin in Plaster," depicts an enslaved Black American family being sold at auction.
The politically charged sculpture, though mass produced, was not commercially popular.
However, the piece certainly must have resonated with Crocker's abolitionist views.
This is a lap quilt.
That's why it doesn't look like it would go on a bed.
And the cat should stay away from it.
(chuckling): Cats should stay away from most textiles.
Whoever did this was very talented, I'd say.
I know, and pieced everything together.
Because they didn't have so much to do then.
(laughs) It's a, uh, silver, uh...
Some type of Art Deco silver piece.
We call it "the torch lady."
It came from France in the '60s.
MAN: Well, it's a, a Joe DiMaggio autographed bat.
I got it through an auction in New Jersey back in 1976.
First, let's talk about Joe DiMaggio, widely considered the best ballplayer ever, played 13 seasons, all for the New York Yankees-- 1936 to 1951.
And why only 13 seasons there?
Because he also served two years in World War II.
Nine World Series championships.
A 13-time All-Star, 2,214 hits.
He finished up with a career batting average of .325.
Most known for the 56-game hitting streak that still stands today.
Known as Joltin' Joe and the Yankee Clipper.
And I don't know how I could be more excited about an old wood bat to come in than this one today.
Tell me a little bit more about how you, how you acquired it.
I put a bid in through mail.
I bid $130 for it.
A gentleman back east bid $130 also.
So we had a three-way conversation via phone.
So I bid $135, and he bid $140.
So I went up to $147, and he said, "That's too rich for me."
What year was this?
This was 1976.
As we're here today, in 2019 dollars, would be the equivalent of about $650 or so.
I made $150 weekly, and I put $147 for the bat.
My wife wasn't too happy.
Tell me more about the provenance the auctioneer provided when you were bidding on the bat.
It was game-used, autograph, Joe DiMaggio bat.
The lady used to work for the Yankees in the front office.
Her husband was a collector, and she would get all these items for him.
He passed away one year and she didn't know what to do with all his stuff.
So she put everything up for auction.
Did you ever meet Joe?
Yeah, I met Joe DiMaggio.
I heard that he was doing an autograph signing at a college in San Jose.
Very small line, I mean, nobody was there.
I was telling him about the bat, and I asked him, "Why is it black?
"Why is it burnt?
And why is it, uh, sanded?"
He said, "Well, you got my bread-and-butter bat."
He said, "You know, I get a shipment, "I go through the bats, "and I pick the one that feels good.
"I dip it in olive oil, and I sprinkle rosin on it, "and then I put it under a flame.
"When it sets, I sand it smooth, and that's my bread-and-butter bat," he told me.
It was awesome.
And one thing else I remember about Joe was, uh, he had huge hands.
His hands were huge.
What year was that?
It was 1994.
Did you have anything signed that day?
He signed a baseball for me.
And how much did that cost in 1994?
I was gonna bring the bat, but I didn't know for sure that he was gonna be there, and I didn't want to bring it out.
What you talk about is exactly what we want to see to authenticate a Joe DiMaggio game-used bat.
The special characteristics that were unique to him.
And we know from his stories, he told people, like he told you, we know that it's documented about some of these features we're gonna go over about this bat.
So it is known that on his game-used bats that he did sand the barrels.
The other thing about this bat, too, is, we see the tape on the handle, We're gonna assume that's because this bat cracked.
But what a lot of use this bat saw before it eventually took a crack.
The bat came out in '47 and that was his MVP year.
From the Louisville Sluggers that I've reviewed, 1946 to 1948 is when these particular specs were part of Joe's order.
So we have the bat at 35-and-three-quarters inches.
We have it at 35.7 ounces.
That's not uncommon for them to be slightly under 36 ounces because of the sanding and the use.
This particular Louisville Slugger game-used Joe DiMaggio bat is made of ash, and then the last key component, of course, is the serial number on the knob.
Are you familiar with that?
D29, that's a small knob.
Yeah, so part of the Louisville Slugger process was, the players would order these bats to their specifications.
And they would vary throughout their career.
They would change size and weight.
Joe DiMaggio was only known to change about half an inch on the size of his bats over his career, but that serial number would not be something that would ever get shipped to a hardware store, or a sporting goods store, anything like that.
That number is unique to his game-used bats.
It's also signed by Joe DiMaggio.
They're hard to come by, they're very desirable to the collectors.
Auction records have been databased now for, 20-so years, I can find maybe about 50 examples that have come to auction.
I am super-excited about this bat.
I would place a value at auction of $80,000 to $100,000.
Great, that's... that's great to... Great to hear.
Great to hear.
You know, I'll, I'll never sell it.
I would have a value placed on it for insurance purposes of $125,000.
MAN: Acquired them from my dad.
In 1937 he sold newspapers on Market Street, and I guess these were positioned on the street lamps, and he may have climbed up to take them down, I'm not sure.
(appraiser laughs) Did he also go across the bridge too?
Yes, he did walk the bridge, and this was a certificate showing that he walked the bridge before automobile traffic.
Because in 1937 the bridge opened, and it opened with huge fanfare.
"Fiesta" in Spanish is "party," but Fiesta was the name of the actual event.
It was a week of events.
President Roosevelt, I think, telegraphed the official opening.
And there were all kinds of fireworks and parties.
But the first day was Pedestrian Day when you could walk the bridge before they had opened it up to automobile traffic.
And I think the whole day there were 200,000 folks that actually walked across that bridge that day.
And a couple people actually roller-skated that day across the bridge so it was a big day.
What's exciting about these banners is because of the connection to California and the Golden Gate Bridge.
And really it's one of our cultural icons, not only in the United States, but internationally as people come to see it.
They're screen-printed on cotton, and then they have this wonderful kind of like a probably like a wool fringe at the end here.
One says "Golden Gate Bridge" and then "Fiesta."
And this one in Spanish just says, "Come and have fun."
Then you have the symbol for the city of San Francisco with the dates of the Golden Gate Bridge opening.
So do you remember anything else about these growing up?
He loved, loved the bridge.
In fact, his ashes are spread below the Golden Gate Bridge.
He met my mom in San Francisco at the Avalon Ballroom, and ended up getting married, and the rest is history.
The ticket on its own is pretty cool, even though a lot of folks did cross.
A ticket like that can sell for around $30 to $50 at auction.
But the banners themselves, realistically at auction, individually these are worth about $500 apiece.
So you've got about $1,000-plus worth of material here.
Again, priceless to your family.
So I thank you for bringing them in, and I just love them.
Thanks very much.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
See you next time on "Antiques Roadshow Recut."