American Arts & Crafts Table Lamp
Appraised Value: $2,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:12)
GUEST: This came from an old junk shop in Oklahoma City. I went in and inquired about it, and it was $25, and there was no way that I could afford that. So I went home and gathered up a bunch of old Frankoma pottery and an old pocket watch that I had that I had bought for a dollar and some other items and went back and traded for it.
APPRAISER: You didn't clean your lamp up.
GUEST: No, I never... I never cleaned it. I always had intentions of cleaning it, but I never got around to it.
APPRAISER: I see.
GUEST: It was always in use in our home.
APPRAISER: Ah. So you use it all the time?
GUEST: All the time, every single day.
APPRAISER: Let's show a little bit underneath, because that's the thing that we always look at first--
GUEST: All right.
APPRAISER: --with a lamp. We'll see that the glass that looks so beautiful with the lights under it is a little more prosaic when you look at it from this point of view.
APPRAISER: It is shaded with the green and the white and then the caramel slag coloration, and it's held together with these little tabs, which are pretty precarious.
GUEST: Yeah, very fragile. I noticed you were a little worried when I took it off.
APPRAISER: Yes. Well, these tabs kind of show us that the quality of this lamp is not quite as high as it might be if it were, for example, a Roycroft lamp or one of the Craftsman lamps. It was probably made by a studio like the Stickley Brothers, perhaps even one of the California companies that made things for the Craftsman cottages. I want to show a little bit about the base here. Look at these little curlicues that are done at the top. They are excellent quality and finely made. The hammered copper work is... is extremely well done, and the base is brass. Solid brass. Heavy, so that you don't have to worry about tipping it over. Shall we put it back on?
GUEST: Yes. With your help.
APPRAISER: All right. So, I wanted to tell you that it's a good thing you didn't clean it. We would not have been happy if you had come in with a shiny copper base to it, because that would have really destroyed the... the value of the lamp. The value of it. Did you have any idea of what your "junk" lamp... ( laughs ) was really worth?
GUEST: Well, I... when I bought it, I thought $25 was a huge price, but over the years, looking around, I estimated that it's worth about maybe $200.
APPRAISER: Well, if you add a zero to that, I think you'd be closer to its value. $2,000 would not be at all out of line for this particular lamp. There are a lot of people who are trying to furnish and decorate Arts and Crafts homes, and this would be perfect.
GUEST: Oh, that is... that is wonderful, Louise. Thank you. I am just... That...
APPRAISER: That's a good $25 investment any way you look at it.
GUEST: It certainly was. I'm just shocked. I am literally shocked.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.