“What’s it Worth Mike?” Silver Coins

Dump your change jars and have a look, it might surprise you what your coins are worth.

While I do not deal in silver coins of any sort, except for those in my pocket, I get a great deal of requests for information for the value of American and Canadian Silver coins.

American silver coins were in standard circulation until silver was removed from all coinage in 1965, and Canadian silver coins until 1968. Silver coins from both countries have a monetary face value, a collectible value and bullion value for theamount of pure silver they contain.

Depending on the vintage and rarity of the coin, its value as a collecitible coin can exceed it’sScrap silver value, but for most mid 20th Century coins that contain silver, their silver value exceeds their value as a collectible coin.
I’ve provided some links below that will allow you to check the value of both American and Canadian silver coins. so dump out that old change jar and have a bit of fun, and maybe make a little extra money as well

http://www.coinflation.com/silver_coin_values.html

http://www.coinnews.net/tools/canadian-silver-coin-calculator/

http://coinapps.com/silver/coin/calculator/

Mike Wilcox

Wilcox & Hall Appraisers

“What is it Worth?” The Old Family Bible

This Presentation Bible in “Fine” condition sold for $400.00

Based on the number of requests we get for information about Old family Bibles, the families of famous (and infamous) people of history must have been very religious. We have analyzed a multitude of bibles in the last 20 years that were said to have belonged to close relatives relevant to Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Mark Twain, Billy the Kid, Ulysses S. Grant and even President McKinley*. Unfortunately, none of them had any provenance, and nearly all were printed long after all of these notables had gone to their final rest. Even though the vast majority of these bibles list the printing date and publisher on the first couple of pages, this information is often ignored in favor for the more interesting family fable that has developed over the years.

Most of these bibles we get appraisal requests for date from the last quarter of the 19th Century. Many of them are ‘Presentation Pieces’, which tend to have elaborate embossed covers and brass latches resembling books you’d find in a 14th century monastery, making them look far older than they really are.  Quite often, these were given as presents to newlyweds  or recently ordained clergymen and ministers by family, gradually passed down as family Heirlooms. Most contain dedications, records of births, deaths and family events.

Examples like this one in “Fair to Good” condition often sell in the $80.00- $150.00 range.

The misconception regarding prior ownership to famous people often starts with last names written within these dedications, birth baptism and death records. What seems to happen is  if any famous families last name appears,  particularly if the last name is the same as Ulysses S. Grant or notorious bank robbers such as Jessie James or Bill Bonney (Billy the Kid), it’s automatically assumed there is some connection to that famous family. While bibles of this type are without a connection to a famous family, they should not be consigned to the trash, while they are not hugely valuable, they certainly are not worthless either.  A 19th Century Presentation type bible in ‘ Fine ‘ condition as shown at the top of the page can sell for over $500.00 at auction. Most like the one shown to the left though have spent 100-plus-years of being pushed into bookcases, storage and hope chests end up in only “Fair to Good” condition, which  often sell in the $80.00- $150.00 range

Mike Wilcox

Wilcox & Hall Appraisers

“What is it Worth?” No, it’s not a Remington Bronze

“Running Fire,” a bronze by Austrian artist Carl Kauba (1865-1922)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We often get requests for information about what people think are  “Remington Bronzes” based on what they’ve seen on programs such as the Antiques Roadshow. For those unfamiliar with Remington bronzes, Frederic Sackrider Remington (October 4, 1861 – December 26, 1909) was an American painter, etcher, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who was in love with the Old American West, creating depictions of cowboys, American Indians, and the U. S. Cavalry.

Most of these  “Remington Bronzes” were purchased at auction or inherited, nearly all of them with little background information other than “”Someone said it was a Remington”. The sad truth in my entire career in the appraisal business I’ve never had a genuine Remington brought to me by someone who thought it was a genuine Remington bronze. All is not lost though if your bronze is not a Remington. While Remington is the most famous sculptor for this “Wild West” genre and his work the most sought after, he is not the only one who worked producing Bronzes of this type.

The one above titled  “Running Fire” is a very good example, while it resembles Remington’s work in many ways , it is actually by another Sculptor, Carl Kauba. Carl Kauba (Austrian, 1865-1922) is ranked right with Remington and Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926) as one of the best sculptors of the Old West, but his work is almost
unknown to the American public. Kauba studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Stefan Schwartz and Carl Waschmann and until about 1886. Some references say that he visited America after 1886 , but there is some references that hint that Kauba never actually visited the U.S.,  his interest in the Native Americans and the Old West
being driven by written accounts by well-known authors such as Karl May (1842-1912), an author whose books about the Old West were very popular in Europe.  Of the experts who claim Kauba did visit the U.S., it is speculated he based his pieces cast in Austria on sketches and notes he made while in the USA.

His bronzes, like the Remington pieces, were finely detailed, but were all produced in Austria. They were produced primarily for the American market between 1895 and 1912 and were equal to any of the best examples of Viennese bronzes made during this period. While less known than Remington, examples of Kauba’s work
can be found in the Harmsen Collection of American Western Art. As for value, Carl Kauba’s work isn’t as highly valued as pieces by Remington or Russell, but comparable examples of this piece by Kauba have sold in the $4,000-$6,000 range. Some of his larger pieces have sold for considerably more, one in particular of a large figure of a Plains Indian Chief on horseback titled “Overpowered” was sold November 12th 2012 at a Heritage Auctions sale for $24,000.

Mike Wilcox
Wilcox & Hall Appraisers