A young girl found out at “Antiques Roadshow” that the statue her family had once bought for $15 was worth much more than they imagined.
When the “Antiques Roadshow” arrived at Kansas City in 2017, a young girl took a bronze statue to the show for evaluation.
“My grandma got it in Florida when she was visiting relatives,” she told appraiser Ernest DuMouchelle from DuMouchelles Gallery. “She got it either at a flea market or at a garage sale. That’s where she gets almost everything.”
The bronze statue was bought at about $15–$20, the girl told DuMouchelle.
She also explained her grandmother’s reason for buying the statue.
“She got it because my sister Portia, my dad, and I all like Greek and Roman mythology. That’s pretty much the only reason she got it,” the girl said.
When asked if they had checked out the story behind the statue, the girl said they couldn’t find any information about it.
“We looked up Émile Hébert, which is, like, right here, and all we found was, he could be a writer, but we figured he probably wasn’t,” she explained.
“One of the problems that you had when you were looking him up was that his first name is Pierre,” DuMouchelle explained.
“So you had to know that this signature, which is here, Émile Hébert, is actually Pierre Émile. But he is a well-listed artist. And he’s a, what we call kind of a Neoclassic artist. What I like about the piece is that, first of all, it’s bronze, and it has the gold doré inlays on it, which are very, very nice.”
DuMouchelle went on to tell the girl that the statue was dated 1867, and “it has the foundry mark, who actually cast it for the artist, GS, and it was a gold-medal winner.”
“This actually won a prize at the Salon in Paris in 1867,” he said. “This artist was quite well-known for this, and you’re going to find that this piece would sell at an auction from $4,000 to $6,000.”
Once she heard the value of her family’s bronze statue, the girl couldn’t help but exclaim. “That’s a doorstop.”
“You better put it up on a pedestal now,” DuMouchelle told her.
Who would’ve thought a $15 statue could be worth so much. Good thing she had it appraised.
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