Antique Appraisals

What’s It Worth?: How valuable is souvenir of first Seahawks home game?

What’s It Worth?

You’ll find the score of Saturday’s Seahawks playoff game elsewhere in the Herald. You’ll find some ’Hawks history and a value for this souvenir glass plate here in What’s It Worth?
You’ll find the score of Saturday’s Seahawks playoff game elsewhere in the Herald. You’ll find some ’Hawks history and a value for this souvenir glass plate here in What’s It Worth? Contributed photos

Approximately 185. That’s the number of regular season and playoff home games the Seattle Seahawks have played host to since they came into the National Football League in 1976. You’ll find the results of Saturday’s playoff clash with the Lions elsewhere here in the Herald.

In today’s What’s It Worth?, a reader asks after her souvenir of the ’Hawks first-ever home game.

Q. This glass plate is actually blue, and the gold lettering on it is not a decal but in the glass. It has no chips and measures about 8 1/4 inches across. Any idea of its value? Thank you. — Jo Ann in Pasco

A. Many people would be aware that the now-demolished Kingdome was the site of the Seahawks’ initial home game in August four decades ago.

Fewer would be likely to recall that a pre-season football contest with the fabled San Francisco 49ers pre-dated the Mariners’ first baseball game by a full seven months.

It wasn’t the first NFL game ever played in Seattle. The league staged about a dozen exhibition games between 1955 and 1975. The final one drew 20,000 fans, which encouraged city leaders to continue to pursue a franchise.

Jack Patera was the coach in that first game. A 23-year-old Jim Zorn was the quarterback. The Kingdome was rocking with almost 61,000 fans.

Seattle trailed 17-0 at halftime, rallied in the second half, but lost 27-20. The game ended when Zorn was tackled at the Niners’ 2-yard line, scrambling for what might have been a winning score.

It was a rough first season for the Seahawks; they went 2-12 and only won a single home game.

We haven’t been able to determine if this commemorative plate was available for purchase at the game or was part of a special free handout or souvenir promotion. Sales records are scarce, one way or the other.

A fair market price would be in the $75 to $150 range.

Q. I’m trying to find out the value of an oil painting of a quarter horse. It is by Don Keller and his work is well-known in the hill country of Texas. My father was an appraiser in Austin in the 1980s and received the painting in lieu of money owed to him. The value at that time was $5,000.

I would appreciate any advice or information you would have to help me find the value. — Matt in Richland

A. Like many Western artists, Donald S. Keller (American-Texas, 1936-2014) is well-known in his field, but not widely known in the broader art world. That is, he is not listed in standard reference guides or major art databases.

A Texas native, he came to be a painter and sculptor late in life, following a career which included time working as a cowboy and service as a U.S. marshall.

Keller specialized in portraits of whitetail deer and horses. He has a limited track record of auction sales, but in collector’s circles we have seen his works offered for sale for $500 or more for bronzes and up to as much as $5,000 for original oil paintings.

Buyers need to be aware that many artists in all genres — including Keller and other Western artists — produced print editions of many of their works. In some cases, the prints have nearly flooded the market, keeping prices down.

We have not examined Matt’s artwork in person, but it certainly appears to be an original painting.

As such, we believe a fair market value would be in the $2,500 to $3,500 range, and an insurance valuation is appropriate at $5,000.

Terry K. Maurer, Tri–Cities personal property appraiser, is a senior member of the Certified Appraisers Guild of America. For possible use in a future column, direct questions on your antiques and collectibles to What’s It Worth? by email to tchwhatsitworth@gmail.com.

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