Loetz Phänomen Glass Vase, ca. 1905

Value (2009) | $6,000 Retail

GUEST:
It was purchased in New York by my stepfather's father, and it's been in the family ever since. And really that's all I know.

APPRAISER:
Well, who do you think made the vase?

GUEST:
I'm hoping it's Tiffany. That's the family story. But I don't know because it isn't signed.

APPRAISER:
Well, it's not Tiffany.

GUEST:
It's not?

APPRAISER:
It's not Tiffany, but it was made by another company that was just as prestigious. And the name of the company was Loetz.

GUEST:
Loetz.

APPRAISER:
Out of Austria. They were working at the same time as Tiffany, and oftentimes people mistake Loetz vases as being Tiffany.

GUEST:
I wondered because it wasn't signed.

APPRAISER:
And that's always confusing because there are Tiffany vases that are unsigned, and there are also Loetz vases that are unsigned. This is a decorated blown glass vase that was made between 1900 and 1905. Now, the reason I know that it's Loetz is, number one, the color of the vase. It's a specific type of decoration. It's called Phanomen. And the shape is a Loetz shape. It's really not a Tiffany shape. And the shape actually makes this extremely special, because a lot more work went into it than just making a regular vase and then putting the beautiful decoration on it. The other reason that I know that it's Loetz is the ground pontil that you see on the bottom. Now, the things that are similar to Tiffany in this decoration that you see are these lines here. They're actually, like, a sawtooth decoration. And these swirls. And also the fact that it's in iridescent design. But other than that, everything else of it speaks to Loetz. If this were sold in a retail shop, it would sell for at least $6,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Thank you for bringing it in.

GUEST:
Thank you very much. $6,000, wow. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Lillian Nassau LLC
New York, NY
Appraised value (2009)
$6,000 Retail
Event
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)
Period
20th Century
Form
Vase
Material
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.