1890s UNC football uniform, Disney painting: Ep. 3 recap of ‘Antiques Roadshow: Raleigh’

Three quick things:

  • An 1875 jade Imperial Seal was the standout item of the episode, being valued at $500,000.

  • Other valuable featured items included a 1892-95 UNC Chapel Hill football archive (including a uniform, signed football and team photograph) valued at $25,000 and a 1942 Disney Carrier gouache painting valued up to $7,000.

  • Each of these items have fascinating histories, from the football archive belonging to a past player at UNC Chapel Hill during a historic season to a French oil painting valued up to $100,000 having roots in the Carolinas.

“Antiques Roadshow” had a tour stop in Raleigh at the NC Museum of Art last May, and nearly 3,500 people came by to get their special items checked out and appraised.

The third of three episodes features 20 unique items appraised by the show’s professionals. Many of the items were appraised in the thousands, but one special item was valued at half a million dollars.

The third episode, called “North Carolina Museum of Art, Hour 3,” aired Monday April 22 at 8 p.m. on PBS. You can watch for free online or in the PBS App.

Here are the highlighted items in the third episode.

1892-95 UNC Chapel Hill football archive valued at $25k

A man brought in memorabilia that belonged to his wife’s grandfather when he played football at UNC Chapel Hill from 1892 to 1895. William D. Merritt played three seasons, starting only a few seasons after the football program got started in 1888.

The man found the team-signed football in his father-in-law’s law office in the 1990s and picked it up to examine it, saying “it was flat as a pancake.”

His father-in-law let him keep all the memorabilia he had, including a uniform and team photograph. The team finished their 1895 season with seven wins, one loss and one tie for first place in the conference, said appraiser Grant Zahajko

“There’s an interesting story about the 1895 team. John Heisman, who the Heisman trophy is named after, was in attendance at that game. University of North Carolina versus Georgia, and on a botched putt attempt, George Stevens catches the ball on what was the forward pass, referees didn’t see it. He scores a 70-yard touchdown for them to win that game six to nothing,” Zahajko said.

The Georgia coach was livid, but the touchdown stood. The forward pass that happened in 1895 is considered the first forward pass. Heisman witnessed it from the stands, then spent years trying to get the forward pass to be a legal football play. It wasn’t until 1906 that it was allowed.

The team photo shows a player holding a leather nose guard, the first piece of facial protection in football, Zahajko said. The photo was also taken by Washington, DC-based Charles Milton Bell, a “very famous American photographer.”

The football is considered a melon or rugby-style ball. Known also as a “bladder ball,” the football is always flat because it had a bladder inside that needed inflation and barely lasted a full game.

Zahajko isn’t aware of any other examples of UNC football game-worn uniforms or photographs from the 1890s. They’re worth more as an archive than they would be for the sum of their parts, he said.

Zahajko recommended insuring the collection for $25,000.

“Wow. Maybe somebody in the family will be interested in that,” the man said upon hearing the figure.

The PBS hit series Antiques Roadshow filmed at the North Carolina Museum of Art on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 as part of the series 28th season tour.
The PBS hit series Antiques Roadshow filmed at the North Carolina Museum of Art on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 as part of the series 28th season tour.

1875 jade Imperial Seal valued T over $500 thousand

A woman brought two jade tablets and a jade seal that belonged to her great-great grandmother in California, who passed away in the 1920s. She was told they were 18th century and from China, and that the original sale took place in San Francisco.

The tablet is dated to 1875. It’s possible the jade tablets were taken from an album or a book, said appraiser Robert Waterhouse.

The woman’s mother had the tablets and seal appraised in 2007 and was told $1,400, she said.

The seal’s underside has two columns of script, and there is a bit of weakness in the carving. This indicates that it’s possible the item is a late 19th-century Imperial jade seal, Waterhouse said. But it would take more research to make this determination.

As a pair, Waterhouse said the tablets would be valued at auction between $20,000 and $30,000, and the seal between $30,000 and $50,000. The woman was left speechless at both figures.

But the pair may have an auction estimate of $320,000 to $530,000, Waterhouse said, depending on if there’s shared consensus that the items are from 1875 to the end of Guangxu reign.

“Is that all?” the woman joked, saying this was not what she expected to learn.

1942 Disney ‘Carrier’ gouache painting valued at $7k

A man bought a Disney painting depicting an aircraft cartoon and titled “Carrier” after seeing it in the window of an antiques shop in Manhattan around 1980. The sales attendant told him it was an original, signed Walt Disney painting and only 12 of them were in existence.

Having been a Navy pilot, the man asked to buy all of them, but the attendant said two were already sold. So he bought just one for $1,100.

But Walt Disney didn’t sign — or even paint — the artwork, said appraiser Gary Piattoni.

By this time in the 1940s, Disney had already become a major brand. All the artists who worked for Disney were allowed to sign his name, so the signature on the painting is a copyright symbol and isn’t Walt Disney’s official signature. Disney wasn’t doing much to make original art by this time, Piattoni said.

The painting shows a smiling cartoon airplane wearing a baseball cap and holding a bag. The character’s name is Pedro, and he was featured in a 1942 film as the hero of the story, which was similar to “The Little Engine That Could.” Pedro was a mail carrier, and his mail satchel is included on the painting.

Pedro later had a cameo in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” which may have been a part of promoting this kind of art, Piattoni said.

Piattoni valued the painting between $5,000 and $7,000.

1928 William Henry Johnson oil on canvas painting valued up to $100k

A woman brought a nearly 100 year old oil painting to be appraised. The painting has been in her family for a while, first bought by her grandmother in a “junk shop” and then passed to her mother and eventually her.

She knew the work was done by a Black painter, but didn’t know the artist’s roots in the Carolinas — or how much her grandmother initially paid for the piece.

William H. Johnson was an African American painter born in Florence, South Carolina, in 1901. He was able to study art in New York and France under esteemed painters, and the painting brought to “Antiques Roadshow” was part of a series he did inspired by a place he traveled to in Southern France, said appraiser Aaron Payne.

Johnson signed the front of the work and wrote the name of the piece and the inspired location on the back. The painting has some “condition issues,” Payne said, mentioning how the canvas isn’t very tight and how there’s some cracking.

The artist is known mostly for his paintings depicting “African American life,” Payne said, and those paintings are more desirable. This French painting is one of his early works, done when he was in his mid to late 20s.

Payne valued the painting between $80,000 and $100,000. To get the painting in great shape, she would have to spend a few thousands dollars to “get it taken care of,” which could boost its value between $150,000 and $175,000.

Highlights from Antiques Roadshow’s Raleigh stop

Here are the other remarkable finds featured in the second episode:

  • Frank Mann North Carolina Tourist Posters (ca 1970) valued between $400 and $600

  • Embroidered Ecclesiastical Processional Banner (ca 1800) valued at $1,500

  • Trenton Potteries Exhibition Rose Vase (ca 1904) valued at $25,000

  • Victorian Parlor Chair (ca 1865) valued at $100

  • 18th Century Scandinavian Coatrack valued between $800 and $1,000

  • Ozeki Shibuichi Vase (ca 1890) valued between $25,000 and $35,000

  • Ruth Russell Williams Oils (ca 1995) valued between $9,000 and $13,000

  • Fake Roseville Brown Pine Cone Vase valued between $25 and $50

  • Pearl, Diamond & Platinum Brooch (ca 1910) valued between $12,000 and $28,000

  • Indonesian Table with Horse Figures (ca 1980) valued between $2,000 and $3,000

  • German Jewish Cookbook (ca 1910) valued at $25

  • Civil War Battle of Petersburg Archive valued between $20,000 and $25,000

  • Chinese Ink & Silk Paintings valued between $4,100 and $6,400

  • Kestner Das Wunderkind Doll Set & Box (ca 1910) valued between $6,000 and $8,000

  • Buddy L Red Baby Truck (ca 1925) valued between $1,500 to $2,000

  • 1865 Starr Cavalry Carbine Rifle valued between $2,500 and $3,500

The three bullet points at the top of the article were created using an AI tool for summarization and edited by journalists. Read more on our AI policy here.

$16 Goodwill painting valued at $100K: Ep. 1 recap of ‘Antiques Roadshow: Raleigh’

Turkey Red baseball card valued $150K: Ep. 2 recap of ‘Antiques Roadshow: Raleigh’