TODAY   |  June 03, 2013

What’s it worth? Lou Gehrig photo, Vatican mosaic

TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky and Kate Waterhouse, an appraiser with Heritage Auctions, help TODAY viewers figure out the value of their antiques and keepsakes.

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>>> in "today's money" what is it worth? have you got old photos, paintings, knickknacks collecting dust you probably wondered, maybe even hoped they were worth a lot of money.

>> here to help you figure out if keep that keepsake will make you rich is jean chatzky and kate waterhouse. good morning. always love this segment. first up what do we have?

>> lou gherrig from ellen in springfield , massachusetts .

>> ellen's mom, silvia and a friend went to a yankees/ red sox game, took this picture with lou gherrig, we talk about the context of lou gherrig with a kodak brownie camera, allowed lou gherrig to sign on an autographed plate. it's in fabulous condition.

>> which i love because photographs can sometimes have quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. this is gorgeous and comes with such a fabulous story attached to it. typically when we have pieces that come in to auction that we're unsure of an autograph you can have it authenticated. we all do that as auction houses and it helps sell the piece, it's a little like certifying a diamond, it eliminates any issues.

>> something like this, what do we think?

>> $2,000 to $3,000.

>> it cost about $300 to have it authenticated.

>> worth doing to know it's worth that much. next uhm up a reginald marsh painting from jody in westchester.

>> it was in her grandparents house 50 years. it's been top of her armoire gathering dust and she was told it has some value. she wants to know.

>> this is a nice piece because it's a drawing, an original artwork, not one of many and he was known for bathers, so this is a good example of what he would have done as an artist, and --

>> lots of bathers.

>> lots of bathers. about $1,500 to $3,000.

>> fantastic, pretty good.

>> next one is a micromosaic. we have jonan along with us. have you heard? this is the first time.

>> this came from joan's parents, they were given it by the vatican by the pope actually for making a donation, and kate has seen pieces like this before.

>> i have. this is a pretty classic theme as a micromosaic goes. they come up to auction every once in a while . what's amazing the tiles are cut and laid in by hand, this is all hand done work.

>> looks like a painting from far away.

>> doesn't it? a piece like this at auction about $7,000 to $9,000.

>> pretty good.

>> what do you think, joan?

>> very good. very good.

>> it could sell as much as $15,000. really high prices.

>> thank you.

>> we've got a hardhat near and dear to our hearts, a nasa hardhat brought in by our stage danger dave auerbach.

>> dave's father was a stage manager for the mercury launch, got it signed by all seven of the mercury astronauts .

>> probably '62, '63, he became friends with those guys over the amount of time he was hanging out down there.

>> so you know it has value.

>> oh, yeah, absolutely.

>> now i know you know what it's worth now.

>> well i took a peek in the numbers.

>> cheater.

>> something like this, even though there's so much nasa material out on the market, this is actually worth potentially $5,000 or more.

>> not bad.

>> he's giving it the thumbs up.

>> michelle sent this sword in, there's a legend in her family her grandfather was actually a pirate in italy. we don't think that's true but we think the sword has value.

>> the sword has value and has a serial number tells us it was german prussian and you could get it back to the soldier should it be lost in battle $300 to $400 even without the scabbard.