Belter Bidding War
This video is from a 2006 Antiques Roadshow video appraisal done on this pair of John Henry Belter scroll pattern armchairs where the buyer paid $7,000 for them – a result of a heated bidding war where the thrill got the better of him. I’m a bit more taken aback by the $4,000 to $6,000 auction estimate given by J. Michael Flanigan as their current value, “and I’ve talked to a number of the other appriasers who are auctioneers”.
Today that value is a pipe dream, but even in 2006, it was rare to see a pair of simpler Belter design armchairs break $3,000. Many of the more elaborate patterns had problems reaching that price range for a pair of armchairs.
It makes me wonder. Was Flanigan sympathizing with the owner’s $7,000 mistake and letting him down easy with a value just below what he paid? Or is AR generally overly-generous with their valuations?