How to Appraise an Item with Feet in Multiple Markets
While appraising this 1908-09 Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. “St. Bernard Mission” model Mission-style pool table, one must look at different markets to find the true value.
When appraising any item, appraisers are faced with the possibility of having to examine more than one market to determine values and decide which one is the most appropriate for the piece in question. Take, for example, a 1908-09 Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. “St. Bernard Mission” model Mission-style pool table. Tables in this style could fit into multiple markets, but to narrow it down, the two most appropriate would be Mission/Arts & Crafts Furniture or Antique Games Room/Pool Table markets.
To begin, the appraiser’s first task is to determine which of these two markets to use by checking where these pieces trade the most often and at what prices. In the Mission Furniture Market, this pool table would be highly desirable to collectors of the Mission Style by noted makers such as Stickley, Roycroft or Limbert. But because of it’s large size and function requires a dedicated room, the number of potential buyers appears to be limited within that market.
As a piece in the Antiques Games Room/Pool Table Market, we find there is a much larger dedicated base of collectors, and this is where the majority of these tables wholesale and retail in the greatest numbers. For this reason, it would be in this market a value would be determined by examining current retail and auction records within this market.
In the current market, the value for these pool tables is still influenced by both markets; it’s value gaining a premium from its Mission Style design and it’s rarity as an Antique Pool Table. While other antique pool tables of comparable vintage can sell for less than $10,000, it’s not unusual for one of these Mission Style examples to sell for more than $20,000.
Mike Wilcox, of Wilcox & Hall Appraisers, is a Worthologist who specializes in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movement.
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