Model on Antiques Roadshow

Kathryn Klos

squirrel whisperer
A canoe model was presented for evaluation on Antiques Roadshow tonight (Monday, April 12, 2010). Eventually, this episode will be available on-line, but I don't see it anywhere as I write this.

The antique dealer who evaluated the model didn't know canoes or models, beyond knowing there is a market for canoe models and the one presented for evaluation was in nice condition. I missed the first few seconds of the interview so don't know what provenance was attached to the model.

"White Canoe" was lettered on the side of the canoe. The interior appeared very nice, and the antique expert said it was walnut. Methinks wal-NOT, but then I wasn't there in-person. The expert said the canoe dated from about 1900 and evaluated it at $5,000-$7,000.

I have a bunch of questions, mostly because the model looked like an Old Town to me, looking at the deck. Just wondering what others thought, and hoping those who are interested will eventually catch this episode on line. Too bad the Roadshow didn't get a true expert in canoe models to appear on the show.

Great report Kathy:

I, too, saw the show, and have it on tape, so have reviewed it several times since. Your comments capture a lot of my own thoughts. The model appeared to be about 4' long, and sure had the profile of a typical OT type. I noted several things about it: open gunwales; OT type deck cut-outs (but also somewhat reminiscent of the Milford model recently restored by Crosscuts; outside stems (highly unusual in the typical display model, but also found in the Milford piece); stem bands appeared to flat brass strips (not half-round).

The appraiser, MaryBeth Keene, suggested that it could have been made anytime between 1890 and 1920. My own thinking would be much more likely to be 1910-1925, and very likely into the '20's. Her estimate of value was $5K-$7K retail, mostly because the paint was rather badly flaking, but original. She suggested a value of $15,000 had it been more pristine. I believe she was far too low, and that it would easily bring between $7-$10K at most auctions (wholesale) today, and somewhat above that retail. Even with the flaking paint. For one thing, it is likely one of few E.M. White models known to exist (if it is a White, and I think we have to accept it for such, at least until proved otherwise). I believe her $15K valuation was much closer to the mark, and anyone 'needing' to own a White example would probably pay that (and more) for the privilege. Afterall, at least one auction buyer has paid over $40,000 for the only known Rushton skiff model.

All very interesting since the lady who presently owns it paid $75 for it in a consignment shop in Aspen, CO, about a year ago. Seems that shop acquired it from someone who was redecorating a lodge and just wanted to get rid of some of the 'rustic' look decorations. They tossed out a real treasure without a second thought (until someone tells them about the Antiques Roadshow program). That was the only provenance offered.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts as a model collector and researcher.

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Thanks for finding the segment on-line, Brad! I'd missed the first little bit of it, and am glad the appraiser said something about the White Company.

I, too, like the canoe as-is, missing paint and all.