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Sunday, February 13, 2011

1882 Lockwood Surprise Box Cap Shooter



Rare items occasionally show up at the antiques and appraisal shows and this item happens to be one of them. This animated cap shooter was produced in the late 1800's by Lockwood company. My first impression of it was that it would be valued around $500. Upon making this statement the owners informed me of an appraisal performed on the Antiques Road Show for the same item for over $3,000.

My assessment was too low on this item. Theirs too high. I agree that the item is rare. I agree that a top collector in a top auction, held in 2005, would have been willing to pay $3,000 for this cap shooter and I agree that my estimate was low. But...

This shooter was in western Pennsylvania, not in a top auction. That prices on virtually all antiques and collectibles have see significant drops in value in the last 5 years. This shooter was missing all of its original paint, the roadshows was not. This shooter was damaged, the roadshows was not.

So what would this item really sale for? I'm not sure. My inclination would be to keep the estimate on the conservative side and put it at $1,700. I know that this estimate is not what the owners would like to hear but the market is unstable. My recommendation would be to stash it and wait for a better economy. Always keep in mind, there are exceptions to everything. Any opinions?

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