'Antiques Roadshow:' See a whale tooth worth more than $150K
If you thought teeth were only worth a couple bucks from the tooth fairy, think again.
On a brand-new episode of "Antiques Roadshow" Monday, a Fred Myrick scrimshaw tooth got a price tag that would probably put said fairy in a lot of debt.
"Today, we're going to give it an insurance valuation of $150,000 to $200,000," said appraiser Allan Katz on "Antiques Roadshow."
"That's extraordinary," said the tooth's owner.
Ain't that the tooth! The piece's lucky owner confessed it had been in his family for generations.
In fact, his great-grandfather had received it from a homeless person he had helped out in 1920. And his grandfather and his two brothers apparently used it to dig holes in the backyard while they were young.
But we're guessing that definitely wouldn't have been allowed if they knew just how valuable the carved sperm whale tooth actually was.
Engraved on the tooth is a picture of the ship Francis, which artist Fred Myrick served on during the early 1800s.
Now, sperm whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. So, in order to sell the animal's tooth, it must be over 100 years old, and the owner has to know where it's been since the law was passed in 1972.
Fortunately, the "Roadshow" appraiser was able to confirm the tooth is close to 200 years old, and it's been in the owner's possession since the 1920s, so the piece is good for business!
But it doesn't look like the owner will be calling up Christie's to set up an auction any time soon.
"Will this stay in the family?" asked Allan.
"Oh, most definitely. It's just part of the family and the story of it and how it came to us. It's definitely a family treasure," said the owner.