Steuben Cluthra Vase, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $2,500 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:59)
Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Antique Dealer & Certified Appraiser
GUEST: I'm an avid flea market and estate saler, and I went into an estate sale and saw this vase and I was kind of attracted to it, and I picked it up and it was so heavy, and then I looked at the bottom and I saw an etching on it-- I couldn't really completely make it out-- and it was priced at $40, and I thought, "Well, this is a pretty monumental, good-sized piece. I think I'll get it."
APPRAISER: And did you go research it?
GUEST: I did go research it and I got a magnifying glass on the label. It says "Steuben" on the bottom, but all my research has "Steuben" as clear glass and generally figurines.
APPRAISER: Well, this particular glass is semi-transparent. They put chemicals between two layers of glass, and then it causes this bubble, or flattening effect of a bubble, and that actually is referred to as a sunny-side up fried egg.
GUEST: (laughing) How funny!
APPRAISER: So you are correct that it is a Steuben piece, and it does have the fleur-de-lis mark on the bottom, which I will turn it over, and it's in this area right here. Now, these pieces are Steuben Cluthra. This is a lavender color made between 1915 and 1933.
GUEST: You're kidding me.
APPRAISER: And very few of these pieces are signed. It was a very limited amount that are signed. So you ended up with a signed piece, and I can see your confusion with the clear crystal because the Internet is full of clear crystal pieces.
APPRAISER: Little harder to find these types of pieces. I believe the shape is "2683," in that vicinity, and it's perfect condition. So this $40 shopping trip, this was an estate sale in Seattle?
GUEST: Correct, and it wasn't one of yours.
APPRAISER: So this particular piece today would be worth about $2,500.
GUEST: Get out!
APPRAISER: And that would be for insurance. So your $40 was amazing.
GUEST: That was a good investment!
APPRAISER: That was a good investment.
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