Two Tiffany Vases, ca. 1920

Value (2006) | $10,000 Retail$15,000 Retail

GUEST:
Well, I saw them at a house sale. I was paying for another piece – in fact, I'd just finished paying for it – and I saw them sitting on the windowsill, and the light shined through one of them, and I was thinking I needed a red vase, so I went back and went over and looked at them, and ended up picking them up, and saw the signature on them, and it says Tiffany, and I don't know whether they're really Tiffany or not really Tiffany, but I thought they were very pretty red vases that I needed for flowers.

APPRAISER:
Well, first thing that I want to bring to attention is this tape on the piece.

GUEST (laughing): Yes.

APPRAISER:
And you got these how long ago?

GUEST:
Oh, I'd say five, six months ago.

APPRAISER:
Okay, and as we can see, it says $10.00 on there.

GUEST:
It still says $10.00 on there.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
I purchased them both. I believe they were both $10.00, so I think this one had a $10.00 tape on it, too, that I did get the tape off of that one.

APPRAISER:
Okay, well, when you find a pair that are high-end type pieces, you should be suspicious to begin with. One would then compare the signatures on the piece. We did that at the table earlier, when you had your back turned. And the shape is rather classic. And it has a nice iridized foot. They have nice striations on the inside. And it's

a cased glass.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
So, we try to then form an opinion. Do we have a reproduction here, because it's a pair, and the odds of finding a $10.00 Tiffany vase...?

GUEST:
Sure. Yes. Very slim. I thought so myself.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, very slim.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
However, we're going to get fatter, because you have a wonderful eye for glass.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
And these are, in fact, Tiffany.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness! Oh, that's a thrill to know.

APPRAISER:
And they're worth $10,000 to $15,000 retail for the pair.

GUEST:
Are you serious?

APPRAISER:
I am serious.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
I am serious.

GUEST:
Oh, I think I better take the $10.00 tag off.

APPRAISER:
I cannot believe it.

(laughing)

APPRAISER:
What a buy.

GUEST:
Yes, I guess it was. I guess my husband won't mind me going out looking occasionally.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2006)
$10,000 Retail$15,000 Retail
Event
Milwaukee, WI (July 29, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Vase
Material
Glass, Glass

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.