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Doug Holland of Deer Park Township poses for a portrait along with an authentic republican campaign poster from the 1900 presidential election depicting then President William McKinley and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. Holland will appear on the 8p.m. episode of the Antique Road Show Monday, May 7, 2012 on the public television network WTTW, Chicago.
NewsTribune photo/Anthony Soufflé
By Craig Sterrett and Amy Flanery NewsTribune Staff
Doug Holland of Deer Park Township didn’t have the most valuable item on Monday’s 8 p.m. episode of “Antiques Roadshow” — that honor went to a “fancy intense” yellow diamond engagement ring valued at $140,000 — but neither did he walk away disappointed. Holland appeared in the first of three PBS “Antiques Roadshow” installments from Minneapolis, and learned that his presidential campaign poster for William McKinley and running mate Theodore Roosevelt is worth $3,000-$4,000. About 30 years ago, Holland became interested in some of the items at a flea market booth of a military memorabilia seller. As they were talking, Holland told the seller he had an interest in political campaign materials. The seller pulled out, from behind the table, a tube in which the campaign poster, in pristine condition, was rolled. Holland asked what the seller wanted for it and quickly bought it when he heard the price. “I bought it at a flea market in Utica for $20. I got a real treasure and I knew it when I got it,” Holland told the NewsTribune before Monday’s airing of the episode. He recently heard about the “Roadshow” stop in Minnesota and brought his poster in for appraisal. Even if he had learned it wasn’t worth much money, he found it fascinating. “It’s pretty graphic,” Holland said before the airing of the show. The poster contains six vignettes: Three depicting life under Democratic rule in 1896 and three representing life in 1900. Holland said it’s obviously a piece of propaganda, and it’s filled with anti-Democrat images and pro-Republican rhetoric. The Democratic side shows workers and workplaces idled, weakened banks and horrible conditions under Spanish rule in Cuba; and the Republican side depicts busy factories, a booming economy and a thriving Cuban civilization under American rule. Appraiser Nicholas Lowry of Swann Auction Galleries, New York, told Holland the poster was used during McKinley’s re-election campaign in 1900. “The premise of the poster is that the administration has kept its promises,” he said. There was indeed a financial crisis in the 1890s that was resolved by 1900, Lowry said, and America had taken over Cuba. Roosevelt was selected from his post as governor of New York to run with McKinley, Lowry said, and when McKinley was assassinated one year into the term, Roosevelt became president. The detailed vignettes coupled with the fact that the poster includes portraits of both McKinley and Roosevelt added to the poster’s value. “It’s more than a poster, it’s a story,” Lowry said. “And it’s more than a story — it’s a political story.” Holland guessed his flea-market find was worth $2,000-$2,500. Lowry said he had seen one sell for $1,000 is 2007 and another for $1,600 in 2010. But he had better news for Holland. “I think those numbers are low. And I think this poster is exceptional enough that at a well-publicized auction, a fair estimate would be between $3,000 and $4,000.”
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