Early 20th-Century Duffner & Kimberly Table Lamp
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (0:09)
Asian Arts, Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Senior Appraiser-Fine & Decorative Arts
GUEST: My grandmother bought it at auction in about 1929. It's been in the family ever since. So 80 years in the family. Many years ago I thought I saw "Handel” on something that had been on the base.
APPRAISER: But you weren’t sure about that.
APPRAISER: Now there's another little part of this story that we don't know in looking at it from this angle.
GUEST: Well, yes. The Loma Prieta earthquake 20 years ago damaged this. It fell on the floor and I'm amazed there isn’t more damage to it. It's got an irregular shape to begin with, an ovoid shape, and it's been made a little bit more ovoid by the fall. And it's missing a few pieces of glass.
APPRAISER: Okay, so it didn’t really bounce well.
GUEST: No. (laughs)
APPRAISER: Let me turn this around a little bit to just show people what’s going on here. We have some splitting and then some minor glass loss here. And do you have the pieces at home?
GUEST: I'm not sure that we do.
APPRAISER: I think that the fall also caused a couple of cracks in the glass that does exist.
GUEST: Yes, there are a few very minor ones, yeah.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, it is not a Handel lamp. It is of the same period as the Handel lamp and Tiffany lamps, but it is made by a company, Duffner & Kimberley.
GUEST: Oh, I did see that on the stem.
APPRAISER: Yeah, okay. They were in New York, so you saw here the little Duffner & Kimberley label. This is a beautiful leaded glass shade. Very, very well done. It's a great form. And you have a gilt bronze base that, to me, is just drop-dead gorgeous.
APPRAISER: Duffner & Kimberley were never quite as innovative as Louis Comfort Tiffany or Tiffany Studios, but they were extraordinary makers of good, quality glass in the early part of the 20th century. As I recall, they started 1905, went bankrupt in 1913. Now, this can be fixed. And there are very competent people that would be able to touch up the base and fix the shade. And I think, when it's fixed, the diminution in value won’t be that great. I think a conservative estimate would be, auction, $12,000 to $16,000 if it were in good shape.
APPRAISER: But if you didn’t get it fixed, it would kind of drop way down in value. I don't imagine that it would be worth more than $3,000 to $5,000 in this current condition.
APPRAISER: This is one of those things that’s so gorgeous that it would be a shame not to conserve it. It's not cheap to get these things done, but I think it's well worth spending some money.
GUEST: Thank you, I’m very excited.
APPRAISER: Oh, good.
GUEST: I'm happy to know something about it.
APPRAISER: It's a pleasure to see it.
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