Louis Comfort Tiffany Oil Painting
This is an oil painting that my grandmother gave me. It's something that she bought in the 1960s. She purchased it from a friend of hers for $250. When she arrived at the apartment, the husband of her friend was handing it to Barbra Streisand.
And she went over to Ms. Streisand and took it out of her hands and said, "No, that's mine." I know that it was done by Tiffany.
Yeah, it is a painting by Tiffany, and it's signed here "Louis C. Tiffany." When you think of Tiffany, you think of the guy who pioneered lampshades, stained glass, really a pioneer in decorative arts. So to see a painting is not rare, but it's a little bit unusual. Tiffany was born in 1848 in New York. He died in 1933. He studied with Samuel Colman and George Inness, two American landscape painters. And, in addition to his work in the decorative arts, he traveled throughout the world painting. He was a member of, ultimately, the National Academy of Design, which he then, with other artists, rebelled against and created a group called the Society of American Artists. He painted in a realistic style. As far as where the painting may have been executed, he painted throughout Canada, Europe, America, even the Bahamas-- all over. So it's a little bit difficult to say exactly where this might be located. The painting isn't dated, so we don't know exactly when the painting would have been executed. But chances are it would have been probably circa late 19th century. The painting itself appears to be in very good shape. It looks like it's probably untouched. In the sky, there's a little bit of craquelure, which is something that's really an inherent vice to an old painting, but it doesn't look like any mechanical damage that a person would have done. And I think the painting could stand a cleaning. Do you have any idea what a painting like this today would sell for?
Hopefully more than $250.
Today, if this painting were offered at auction, it would probably sell in the area of $15,000 to $25,000.
A little more.
Yeah, for $250, it was quite a prudent buy. It's a really nice example of Tiffany's work. Thank you so much for bringing it in.
My deer-in-the-headlight moment.
Well, thanks again, it's a great painting.
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.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love