Tiffany Cold Air Return Cover, ca. 1890
Appraised Value: $45,000 - $50,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:08)
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: I inherited it from a friend. It's a cold air return, which is supposedly out of the Henry O. Havemeyer house in Brooklyn, New York.
APPRAISER: Do you know who Henry O. Havemeyer was?
GUEST: A sugar baron.
APPRAISER: Yes. And do you know who made this?
GUEST: I believe it was Tiffany.
APPRAISER: In the early 1890s, his firm-- Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company-- undertook the interior decoration of the Havemeyer home. But it wasn't in Brooklyn. It was on Fifth Avenue and 66th Street. It became a very, very lavish home, beautiful interior, all decorated by Tiffany in order to house the Havemeyer art collection. What you have here is a Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company cold air return cover. The reason why it looks particularly beautiful today is that we have put light behind it, which you wouldn't ordinarily see in the shaft where the piece was initially installed. Tiffany decorated the hallways and every part of the interior of the home. And the hallways were pretty lavish. The palette was blue, green, silver, gold, and this is what we call chainmail decoration. And if you look, there are little chains in between the little pieces of Tiffany glass, which are like a light blue opalescent. Mr. Havemeyer died and then Mrs. Havemeyer died in 1929. And in the 1930s, the house was slated to be demolished. But before it was to be demolished, there were auctions of the contents of the house and a lot of the architectural elements, such as this. I noticed on the back that there are some supporting beams, and those look as though they may have been added to support the piece. This is like a Tiffany artifact, and collectors are very excited when they can have pieces like this, and they are few and far between. If this were to sell in a retail shop, it could easily sell for between $45,000 and $50,000.
APPRAISER: Yes, really.
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