Pawn Stars: VERY VALUABLE JOHN HANCOCK PIECES from the 1700s (Season 17) | History

Pawn Stars: VERY VALUABLE JOHN HANCOCK PIECES from the 1700s (Season 17) | History


So a really good
client of mine has one of the largest
Revolutionary War collections in the world, and forever I’ve
been trying to get him to bring me something from John Hancock. He’s one of my favorite
Founding Fathers. So I’m here at my gallery
because if he has something from Hancock and I
purchase it from him, it’s going to go straight
in that showcase. Are you ready for this, Rick? That’s John Hancock’s
pocket watch. I’m intrigued. And what’s that? Wow, that’s his
waistcoat, right? From the 1700s. There’s a lot more
clothing you wore back then. Yes. BRIAN: I have John
Hancock’s waistcoat and a pocket watch he owned, and
it comes with great provenance. It’s been in the family ever
since for the last 150 years. I purchased these items about 10
or 15 years ago in an auction, and I think the fairest price
would be $400,000 for the pair. That’s really cool. A watch back in
late 1700s, it was like one of the biggest status
symbols you could have, OK? Just to have any
functioning watch, especially one made
out of 18 karat gold, was an extravagance. Just to show you how rare
watches were back then, notice he doesn’t have
a watch pocket on this. So this was incredibly
expensive even at the day. But then again, Hancock was
the richest man in New England. BRIAN: Right. RICK: To me, Hancock is like
one of the most interesting of all the Founding Fathers. He was sort of a
mobster because he did a lot of criminal activity. The way Parliament
made it was, like, the only party that could
be purchased in the colonies was from the British
East India Company. But tea from the Dutch
East India company was much cheaper, so John
Hancock was smuggling it in. Right. And Hancock’s revolutionary
activities made him a target for British agents. It’s always amazed me. These were all really
wealthy men with great lives, and they risked everything.
Because– They risked everything. –because if the
revolution didn’t turn out the way it would, they
would have all been hung. Yep. So, what’s that right there? Well, this is a
letter from the family authenticating where
the watch was handed down through family members. The letters dated 1890. RICK: That’s pretty amazing. So how much do you
want for these? I guess if I had to
put a price on them, I’d sell the pair at $400,000. How about just the watch? Just the watch– I guess I’d price the
watch at $150,000. So why don’t we just do this? Why don’t you just let
me give you $125,000, and then we don’t have
to go back and forth. I don’t have to go 100,000 and
you go 140, and then I go 110, and then, you know,
we– we settle on 125. You have a deal. Oh, thanks. Let me take you out to dinner. We’ll do all the
paperwork tomorrow. I’ll have my staff put all
the stuff in the vault for us. BRIAN: Sounds great. I’m happy for you. Let’s go. Oh, that is amazing. BRIAN: 125,000 I
thought was a fair price for the pocket watch. The waistcoat is going
to come back home with me in my collection,
and I’ll probably loan it to one of the– the
other museums that need it. RICK: The story of the Boston
Tea Party is told far and wide. What many people don’t
know is the mastermind behind the Boston Tea Party,
John Hancock, the guy we assume was the first person to sign
the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock is talked about
it historically with reverence, but in actuality, he was the
colony’s biggest smuggler. So I think it’s fair
to say that Hancock’s motives weren’t
100% noble when it came to the Boston Tea Party. Sure, he was against taxation
without representation. He didn’t like British
rule over the colonies. But let’s be real, this was
affecting his bottom line. 116 patriots in Boston dressed
up like Native Americans, and they boarded three English
ships that had just imported 90,000 pounds of tea
into the colonies, and they threw it all
overboard into Boston Harbor. It was worth over a million
dollars in today’s money. Hancock was definitely on
the British radar for sure. But in the end, he definitely
got the last laugh.

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