♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: "Antiques Roadshow Recut" has elected to showcase some fantastic treasures related to American politics.
We're talking about a fantastic piece of American folk art.
Oh, my goodness.
PEÑA: Stay tuned for part two of "Antiques Roadshow Recut: Politically Collect."
♪ ♪ PEÑA: In this episode of "Antiques Roadshow Recut," we're celebrating our democracy and exploring objects with political connections.
Take a look!
WOMAN: He was carved by a farmer in Iowa about 1864.
And the carver was an elderly man, but he had a favorite mare, and at noontime, when they brought the animals in to feed, he would sit out in the feed yard, and he used that mare as his model and carved the horse.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh, you bought it from...
I bought it from the grandson of the man that had carved it.
I believe the gentleman's name was Christian Anderson.
Who do you think this is, astride the mare?
Ulysses S. Grant.
When you look at his face, you see that great beard, it sure looks like it could be Ulysses S. Grant.
I would guess that if it's Grant, it would have been carved in either '68 or '72, when he was running for president.
Because this is what he was wearing-- a stovepipe hat-- during that campaign era.
And my guess is that it might be a little bit later than '64.
'64, he was still a general, and he would have his Civil War uniform on.
Regardless, we're talking about a fantastic piece of American folk art.
All solid carved wood.
The mane is human hair-- I don't know if you noticed that.
Yeah, I know it is.
And the tail is horsehair.
It's much coarser.
His clothes are a little tattered and a little shredded.
But you know what?
That doesn't make a bit of difference.
Everything about this is fabulous.
Now, you said when you bought it, it had a little leather bridle that was running through his hands.
Because I notice there are a couple of holes here.
One thing that I think we both noticed was that there's a shadow of where a saddle used to be.
It's a little lighter here, so there was some sort of a saddle on there, but it was not there when you bought it, correct?
And I asked him to look for it, and I know he did.
I bought the horse first, and then he said, "Oh, there was a rider that used to go with that."
You're kidding me.
So you bought this, and then how long did it take for him to find... About two days.
(both chuckling) What did you pay for it, do you remember?
Seven dollars and 50 cents.
When did you get it?
How many years ago?
I saw a similar thing, but not quite the same quality, at an antique show maybe 20, 25 years ago, and I think they wanted 2,500.
20 years ago, 2,500 would have been cheap for this.
I did a lot of polling from a number of people here, and we all just were shaking about this piece.
A fair auction estimate for this would be somewhere between $40,000 to $60,000.
And I think that there's a very good chance it could sail past $60,000 if you had the right people bidding.
Well, my kids are going to fight over it now.
(laughing) APPRAISER: This is your high school diploma, right?
MAN: That's correct.
Down here it's signed by the principal.
This shows you, you finished high school.
But you got a lot of extra things here, and some of them are quite unusual.
Beginning over here with Lyndon B. Johnson, moving up here to Bill Clinton, over here-- "To Jim, best wishes, Gerald R.
And then the big, heavy inscription here, George Bush.
Beneath him, George Bush, Sr. Nice ink inscription, very clear.
And down here, fading a little, unfortunately, we have John F. Kennedy.
When I graduated from high school, we had a little gap of time between the graduation and when I started my summer job.
A couple of friends decided to drive down to the Senate Office Building to see if we could have a few senators sign our diploma, with the idea that they may turn in to be president of the United States.
So you were thinking ahead.
And at that time, we were able to have Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy as the two signatures that turned into president.
And then we sort of put it away for years, didn't think about it.
And then a friend of mine knew Jimmy Carter, and he was able to have Jimmy Carter sign it.
And then I put it away again for years, and then another close friend was able to obtain the signatures of the four presidents at the top.
So in the end, you ended up with a diploma signed by seven presidents of the United States.
Wasn't much security at that time, and it was pretty open, so you could get in without much trouble.
There is collector demand for items signed by multiple presidents.
The most I've seen on one document is five.
So you, you take the cake there.
Two of the earliest inscriptions, the Kennedy and the LBJ, are beginning to fade a little.
And that's the result of ultraviolet light.
Even if it's indirect sunlight, even bright lights in a hallway or a study can do that.
So what you may want to do with this, Jim, ultimately, is get it framed with U.V.-filtering glass to protect any of these other ink inscriptions.
My guess, based on other multiple-signed presidential documents, is, you're looking at $7,000 to $10,000.
As an auction estimate.
Could even bring more, you never know.
That's something-- I'm surprised.
MAN: It's a self-portrait by President Eisenhower, painted in about 1951.
My father was the chief of staff to Eisenhower in the White House, and a longtime friend.
And Eisenhower gave the picture to my dad, who hung it in his house for 30 years or so, and then I inherited it about 25 years ago.
Eisenhower was known to have been a hobbyist painter, primarily.
He painted for relaxation, and, um, was a fairly accomplished artist.
And there are a number of records of pictures of his that have been sold in the past.
For the most part, the ones I'm familiar with were landscapes, rather than the portraits.
I think portraits have, perhaps, stayed in families more.
He's certainly an immediately recognizable image, and I think it's kind of a treasure to have this.
There's quite a wide range of prices for work by him.
It's really more the personality of the artist than it is the quality of the pictures, which are nice, but not particularly outstanding or that of a professional portraitist.
I would say that this picture must be worth in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, just based on what some of his other pictures sell for.
There's a range of anywhere from about $6,000 to about $35,000, and I think this probably would fall somewhere in the middle.
WOMAN: I've brought historic documents that belonged to my cousin.
She was Mrs. Roosevelt's personal maid.
When she passed, she left all of these documents to me.
I visit the White House about three times when President Roosevelt was in office.
I sat and looked at the president getting his picture painted, and it was really something to see.
It is really quite an amazing archive.
A rough estimate is that it comprises about 100 pieces.
Let me start with the one right to your side, which is the obituary.
That is pretty much the background information that keeps the archive together.
And you get various other pieces, like a lot of greeting cards.
Mrs. Roosevelt's calling card.
As well as a large group of letters.
The correspondence, naturally, started after your cousin left the White House.
The individual items...
With the exception pretty much of one, are not worth that much.
What is of really interesting value is the photograph in the center.
That shows Franklin D. Roosevelt with Eleanor, Christmas 1941.
That's a very striking image.
She is knitting, he is reading, and they're just presenting a home life to America.
And the wonderful thing is that the photograph is signed by both.
So this photo by itself, at auction, would probably sell for about $3,000 to $4,000.
The individual items, like, say, the letters...
You have a total of 30, that probably would fetch around $800.
The smaller pieces are really not that significant.
But a conservative auction estimate for the entire archive would be around $8,000 to $12,000.
Oh, my-- wonderful.
WOMAN: It is my great- great-grandfather's Civil War autograph collection.
It's a scrapbook that he put together during and after the Civil War.
What's so special about this is the effort that your ancestor went into into putting this together.
It's not just a book with little clip signatures.
It's actually more of a piece of folk art.
Who do we have here?
It's General Grant and General Sherman.
And if you lift up the page, you'll see his autograph.
He didn't just go in and glue it in.
He made it personal.
That's a thing a collector loves in an album of autographs.
And underneath Sherman's photograph is General Sherman's autograph.
This one is dated 1889.
Did he send off and get these after the war?
Oh, yeah, he sent a lot of letters, and a lot of letters that are in this book are addressed to these people, requesting autographs.
On the next page, we have one that's pretty interesting.
Who is this gentleman?
That would be Frederick Douglass.
He was one of the most important people in the anti-slavery movement.
Your ancestor, being a Caucasian collecting African-American signatures was an important thing in this time frame.
And this one is a nice clip signature.
That one was probably trimmed out of a letter.
And we also have a signature here of Booker T. Washington.
This one's one of the most beautiful pages in the book.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
So he not only collected Union autographs, he also collected Confederate autographs.
And we have the nice business-card-size signature of Jefferson Davis.
On this page, we have the commander of the Confederate forces, Robert E. Lee.
Beautiful clip signature.
This letter was from Robert E. Lee's secretary.
And my grandfather wrote a letter to him requesting an autograph, and he actually apologized for the size of the autograph.
There were very few.
A lot of people requested them.
And saving this letter makes this autograph all that more important, because it shows some of the effort that your ancestor went to in obtaining these signatures.
On this page, we have John Hunt Morgan.
My ancestor was actually captured by Morgan.
And he's written a story called "A Day with General Morgan."
They were forced to march down to the... Where the trains were, and they got on the trains, they blew the trains up, and Morgan released the whole regiment.
Morgan's signature was really tough to get, because he did not survive the war.
This is a piece I assume you would never get rid of.
So what we would be looking for is an insurance value on it.
I would want to insure this somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000.
(both laugh) WOMAN: I purchased them about seven or eight years ago from the estate sale of the lady to whom they're dedicated.
And that's really all I know.
APPRAISER: They are the original drawings for political cartoons that were used and copyrighted by the "Chicago Tribune" in 1947.
The piece on the left is by a known cartoonist-illustrator named Carey Orr.
The piece on the right is by Ed Holland.
They're dated 1947.
They really speak to the time and place that the United States was involved in: references to the Democratic and Republican parties, references to Europe, and very, very astute notions of political ideas.
The drawings are in really very good condition, and another issue that I think is really wonderful, that really speaks to the creative process, is here, you see the shadow, the sort of pentimenti of the artist changing his mind-- there's an eraser mark that talks to him moving the composition and changing it a bit, and I think that adds a real sense of vitality to the drawing, as well.
Do you have any idea of the value of the two pieces?
None-- I paid five dollars apiece for them.
Well, you did very well.
They're terrific original cartoons, and as a pair, I would lot them at about $300 to $500.
Well, I grew up in a small farm north of here, and my neighbor boy had a beautiful farm, and he would tell me of all the neat prints and paintings and stuff that was up in the attic.
And when his parents passed away, he gave me this picture, because I liked historical things.
Value on prints comes from a number of things.
Obviously the appearance is important, the scarcity is important.
But to me, the most interesting thing is the way that a print is connected with a historical event.
Now, you know what this print is about, which is... Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet signing the Emancipation Proclamation.
The artist of this print is a man named Francis Carpenter, and he thought the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was one of the great achievements of humankind.
And he was very proud of it as an American, and he wanted to document it.
So he petitioned Abraham Lincoln to be able to make, in effect, an official print of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
This is actually a scene of the reading of the emancipation before the Cabinet, but it's the same basic event.
Now, Lincoln did the Emancipation Proclamation because he believed in it, but also as a political move, because he thought it would give a cause to the North in the Civil War.
So, he said to Francis Carpenter, "Yes, let's do a print," but not only that, he invited Francis Carpenter into the White House.
And for a sixth-month period, Francis Carpenter moved in to the White House and used the dining room as a studio.
So each member of the Cabinet had to go and sit, and he had his photograph taken, and Carpenter worked on the portraits.
And then he constructed this scene, which is wonderful.
Carpenter then took this print and he publicized it by issuing many of these.
And they went out into the public and really brought a lot of fame and import to this event, which really helped the Northern cause.
You can see that the impression is excellent.
The detail is very, very good.
If you look up here, you have the chandelier, you have a portrait of Jackson behind, which, you can see his face just barely.
This print was issued in 1864 or thereabouts.
On the back, it has old wood slats.
Those wood slats have acid in it.
That acid is moving into the paper.
And you can see, around the edges of the paper, you have some stains-- it's getting brown, it's getting splotches.
In this condition, if it were in a shop, I would expect to see maybe $800, $900 on it.
If you fix it up, you have a print that's worth maybe $1,600 to $1,800.
Now, it's expensive to fix it up.
If you don't do anything to this, it's going to fall apart, and you'll have nothing.
Thank you very much for bringing it in, 'cause it's one of my favorite prints.
Oh, thanks, Chris.
Well, that's great.
WOMAN: It's always been in my family.
My great-great-grandfather bought it, from Baltimore.
It was in Baltimore for many years until my grandmother moved to Bridgeport.
And that to me is a very important thing.
I think you mentioned, you thought it was the early 1800s.
Around 1805, '10, somewhere.
We know that the ownership goes all the way back to the original owner of the early 1800s.
I'm going to tell you up front, this is a very nice, quite a valuable clock.
It was a commemorative piece, and there were only a few of them made.
The statuary, of course, depicts George Washington, and it shows him at the time of his famous farewell speech to his officers.
Down below the dial is a slogan which... "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen."
The statuary is very finely cast, which is typical of what the French were doing.
This is a French-made clock.
The name on the clock is Dubuc.
He was a bronzer.
He was the caster, and he would sell these clocks to the American market.
We know from the address that's on there that this clock was made probably between 1808 and 1816.
Did you know there were also two of these-- very similar clocks to these-- in the White House collection, State Department?
I thought, perhaps, we saw one at one time in back of one of the presidents'... Yeah.
When he was making a speech, and it looked like it.
These clocks have bounced around a lot in value in the last, say, ten or 20 years.
About one comes for sale a year.
We found one example of one that was similar that brought over $140,000.
Oh, my goodness.
This has some problems.
The hands are replaced, and the ormolu's redone.
This clock has a value today at, let's say, auction, between $50,000 to $80,000.
Oh, my goodness!
I can't believe that.
PEÑA: You're watching "Antiques Roadshow Recut: MAN: My father inherited them from his aunt, who acquired them through her marriage, and then they came to my dad and passed down to me.
We always just referred to it as the "Senate desk."
But there was also the rumor that we'd heard that it came from a Congressman White from Maine.
So that didn't connect.
And then I went on to the "Roadshow," uh, website, and saw that one had been appraised about 2000 or 2001 in Tulsa.
And it had been refinished.
And there I found out that it was made in about 1857, in Boston, designed by, I believe, a Philadelphia architect or designer.
And it was in the House of Representatives, not the Senate, from about 1857 until sometime after the Civil War.
Both pieces were designed by Thomas Walter.
Who was the architect of the Capitol.
Oh, he was?
They were made by two different people.
The desk was made by Doe and Hazelton of Boston, the chair by Bembe and Kimbel of New York.
They were made and used from 1857 to 1873.
At the House of Representatives.
Okay, that long.
Not much is known about Doe and Hazelton in Boston; a little bit more is known about Bembe and Kimbel.
Kimbel was a European-trained cabinetmaker from a long line of furniture makers in Europe.
He came to America, like many immigrants, and developed a very prosperous company.
He was a very noteworthy 19th-century cabinetmaker.
I think what's really spectacular about the pieces, though, is their historical significance and what they represent to America.
Not only in their design, but what they were witness to.
Some of the design elements that I think are particularly interesting is the United States shield, the oak leaves that flank it, the laurel leaves that come down the stile here.
And then as we come down the chair, you'll notice the star on the skirt, which is also incorporated on the desk.
Both motifs are incorporated on the desk, as well.
Yes, as is, as is the shield.
You'll see three chairs to probably one desk.
So the desk, much scarcer than the chair, interestingly enough.
Is that right?
I thought it would be the reverse.
Any idea of its value?
Ever had it appraised?
Well, the desk that was appraised previously on the "Roadshow"-- that had been refinished... Yeah.
And it didn't have the original... Uh-huh.
I think appraised at $8,000 or $9,000.
And the man who appraised it said that he'd heard of one selling for about $15,000 several years earlier.
So, I just, you know, conservative thought, well, maybe with the chair, maybe 20.
Being together, a chair and a desk, increases its value.
I think that a gallery would offer it at a fixed retail price of $40,000.
Well, that's very nice.
So, it also gives you an idea of how things have appreciated since that last appraisal.
Because when Wendell Garrett did that-- when it was done, it was a very accurate appraisal.
But these have since...
Over the last two or three years, have probably doubled in what used to be their value.
Is this the original?
I believe so.
The upholstery is not.
My mother had the upholstery redone.
It originally had leather upholstery.
We didn't know, but we thought so.
One sold, with its original leather, sold for $30,000.
But its, upholstery makes a big difference.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
We hope you've enjoyed this episode of "Antiques Roadshow Recut."