Raoul Larche Art Nouveau Lamp, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:33)
Metalwork & Sculpture
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: Well, I was cleaning houses for a lady and she was getting ready to sell her house, so she asked me to clean her attic out. So I got up there and I was working and there was this old bench in there and I opened it up, and here was a lamp. I took it downstairs and showed it to her. She said, "Well, I'm going to see if my kids want it. If they don't, you can have it." So that's how I got it.
APPRAISER: Oh, yeah? How long ago was that?
GUEST: It's been ten years.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh. Well, you have a sculpture by one of the leading sculptors of the Art Nouveau period. The Art Nouveau period was from the 1890s till around 1910. And his name was Raoul Larche. And the piece is actually signed right over here on the front. I know you can't hardly see it, it's hard to see. And Raoul Larche was born in 1860 and he had a very academic background. He was well trained. There was an academy that taught sculptors and artists, and he was one of the prize students. And he started exhibiting works at annual exhibitions called the Salons, starting in the 1880s. And he also exhibited things in the Paris World's Fair of 1900. That was one of the most famous international exhibitions, and that's when the Art Nouveau period was at its pinnacle.
APPRAISER: This is very much similar to a lamp he did of the famous dancer named Loie Fuller. And she also had her own pavilion at the Paris World's Fair, and she was known for having these great big swirling dresses. And the sculpture he did of her has her veils above, and he's taken that motif and put it on this piece, which is actually a lamp. And this is really a great, great example of Art Nouveau. It is dirty, and it has chemical change in the surface, but it's in basically good shape. You know, you could have a professional conservator look at it and they could work on it, but there's really nothing you could do other than just sort of dust if off. The other thing is you have the original wiring here.
APPRAISER: You can see the condition. You can replace the wire, because this is supposed to function as a lamp. It really doesn't affect the value. And there is this one other thing which is interesting here. It has a little inkwell here on the side, and it would have had a glass liner. In this condition, I would think that it's worth in the $6,000 to $8,000 range.
APPRAISER: And if it was restored a bit, it probably could bring a little bit more than that.
GUEST: Really? I might have it restored to see what it looks like. I had an antique dealer offer me $2,000 for it.
APPRAISER: I wonder why. ( chuckling )
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