Tiffany Studios Inkwell, ca. 1905
Appraised Value: $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:40)
Metalwork & Sculpture
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: It was passed down. My grandmother gave it to me last year after my grandfather passed away. It sat on his desk for as long as I can remember.
APPRAISER: Do you remember where he got it? Any... did you ever talk to him about it, or...
GUEST: No, I wasn't old enough to really probably understand it at the time. The only thing I remember is the color of it, that green. I've remembered it since I could... you know, since I could walk, when we visited their house.
APPRAISER: It is really dramatic looking. The inkwell is by Tiffany Studios. It's actually stamped on the bottom, "Tiffany Studios, New York." And as you know, they were a very famous maker of bronze and metalwork, and Tiffany lamps, Tiffany glass. They were founded in New York City. It was run by Louis Comfort Tiffany, who was the son of the man who started Tiffany & Company, the jewelry company. And one of the things they produced were desk set items, very popular from the turn of the century until the 1920s. They made, oh, maybe 20, 30 different patterns. You have an inkwell. Other pieces in the set could be a letter rack, a blotter, pen tray, boxes, lamps, calendar, letter scales, thermometers, anything that would be on a gentleman's desk. It was probably made between 1900 and 1910. What's unusual about this is the glass. It's Tiffany glass. And we call this blown out.
APPRAISER: So you have this latticework that's cut out, and they actually blow the glass through this so the glass protrudes. Inside you have the inkwell. This is not Tiffany glass. This is a standard replacement. But it's really interesting, and it's quite rare. It has some condition issues here in this green discoloration. And you see these little white dots?
APPRAISER: You know what that's from?
GUEST: I have no idea.
APPRAISER: These little white dots is when this piece was on the desk and they were painting the wall behind it with a roller.
GUEST: Really? Really?
APPRAISER: Right. And the little specks of white paint come off. You see it there?
GUEST: See, I thought it was just another type of corrosion or...
APPRAISER: Right, no, no, they're little white specks of paint. But it's really in nice shape. We see lots of desk set pieces on the Roadshow, but we really never see these blown out pieces. This is nice in this really rich green. They also made it in a red, sort of a coral-y red color.
APPRAISER: I wouldn't be concerned about this, and I wouldn't really be concerned about these little flecks of paint. The glass is in excellent shape; sometimes the glass can be cracked. In a retail setting, at a gallery or a shop specializing in Tiffany works, this would be about $5,000.
GUEST: Really? Wow. Wow, that's... I had no idea.
APPRAISER: That's great.
GUEST: That's amazing.
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