Loetz Flower Form Vase, ca. 1905
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:01)
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: It came from my mother, who died in 1999. And she was on an estate mailing list in the late '40s and '50s in Savannah, and she would receive early notice about estates being put up for sale before the general public was notified, and she picked this up at one of those estate sales.
APPRAISER: Do you know what she paid for it?
GUEST: I certainly don't, but she didn't pay very much.
APPRAISER: And what did she tell you about it?
GUEST: She said it was very valuable, that it was a Tiffany and that ladies used to carry flowers in it to parties and dances instead of wearing corsages on their arms or on their body. And I could never find a signature on it, so I wasn't sure.
APPRAISER: Well, I have to say that's the first time I've ever heard of a use for this particular piece. And it's very creative, and it is connected in some way, because this is actually called a flower-form vase, but it wasn't made by Tiffany. It was made by Loetz, which was a company in Austria that was working at approximately the same time, and whose work is often confused with the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Well, oftentimes people try to figure out what came first-- Tiffany or Loetz. And in this particular instance, I can tell you that this is later and that this is definitely an instance where Loetz was imitating what Tiffany was doing, because Tiffany was making flower-form vases as early as the mid-1890s, and Loetz didn't start making things like this until after 1900. This particular piece, I believe, was designed by one of the artists who worked for Loetz whose name was Koloman Moser. It's very much in his style, and what's particularly wonderful about this piece is I have seen this decoration many, many times on vases, but I've never seen it on a flower form, so that is very unusual. It's easy to tell the difference for me because I recognize the patterns on Loetz' work, such as you see this green iridized finish, and then you have this nice decoration in silvery blue iridescent leaves and vines that continues on, trails down the stem. Now the other thing that I noticed about it is the finish on the bottom, which is typical of Loetz, that you would never see on Tiffany. Loetz only signed work that was made to be exported to the United States, so this piece probably was sold in Austria or in Europe and somehow found its way over here. And there are a lot of pieces of Tiffany that are unsigned, too, and there are also a lot of pieces of Loetz that are signed "Tiffany" to further complicate matters. But this is clearly a piece of Loetz. I think because of its form and the design-- the combination of the two-- I would say that this piece would sell in our store for somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness!
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