Appraisal Video: (3:13)
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: Well, it belonged to my great-aunts, and when the last one passed away, she left it to me, and as my brother Jay and I were growing up, we were always told "Don't go near the lamp" when we went visiting at their apartment. So it's kind of funny, you know, as we were little, we thought, "Oh, that horrible lamp," then as we got older, we've come to appreciate this.
APPRAISER: Do you know who made it?
GUEST: When we looked on the top, we found the name Handel.
APPRAISER: Mm-hmm, that's right. When did you find that?
GUEST: This morning.
APPRAISER: Oh, I love that. That's just great, okay. Well, that is the name of the company that made this lamp, and the company was based in Meriden, Connecticut. It went into operation in 1885 and at that time, the Mr. Handel was in partnership with a person named Mr. Eydam, and they worked together until about 1893, and then Handel bought the company from Mr. Eydam and owned it by himself. And this lamp was made in about 1910. What they were known for, really, was making a lot of decorative objects, but the thing that they really were known for and what we think of them for more than anything else today are their lamps, their decorative lamps, which was a very successful part of the business. This lamp is a reverse-painted lamp. It actually has a name; it's called Jungle Birds. And you can notice the birds right on the front, these beautiful parrots. And we can turn this together, and here's another bird on the back of the shade. Now, when I say the lamp is reverse-painted, it's been painted on the inside. On the outside, we have what is known as a chipped surface. Sometimes people call it chipped ice. They used a special process to create the impression of frost on a windowpane, and it's interesting how they made it. They made it by sandblasting it, covering it with fish glue, drying the fish glue, then baking it in a kiln at 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and then the glue would fall off the shade, taking with it pieces of glass, thus creating this surface. Handel was also a contemporary with Tiffany-- Louis Comfort Tiffany-- and Handel's company did actually make some leaded glass lamps. But the reverse-painted lamps are the more desirable lamps, and this happens to be one of the most desirable lamps--
GUEST: Oh, my gosh.
APPRAISER: --that they made. Now, the lamp base is not made of bronze, and all the Tiffany bases were made of bronze, but Handel's bases were usually made of white metal. And the bulk of the value-- in fact, 95% of the value-- is the shade. Now, this particular lamp, in today's market, would sell for between $15,000 and $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: Now, a couple of years ago, this lamp actually would sell for a little more. It actually sold for $30,000, but for some reason, the market has softened over the past few years, but I have every confidence that it will strengthen again and the price will go up in value, and it's really a wonderful lamp. I am so glad that you brought it in.