Duffner & Kimberly Desk Lamp, ca. 1909
It was given to my father-in-law by one of his patients. And my father-in-law didn't want it, so he gave it to me.
Well, when I looked underneath, I saw the construction. I said, "Gee, the way this is constructed "and the type of design "makes me think that this was probably made by the company called Duffner & Kimberly." Oliver Kimberly was an employee at one time of Tiffany Studios, and he did work in the glassmaking department. He left in the late 19th century, formed another company with someone else, and then in 1905, formed a partnership with Frank Duffner in New York to make lamps. This piece was probably made around 1909. Now, it's a little more unusual because it actually is a desk lamp. You don't see a lot of these. What also made me know that it was Duffner & Kimberly is they're just very classical. And what I noticed was this lovely shell motif on this fabulously made bronze base. The shell motif is also shown right here on the back, which is really so elegant and beautiful. And then it's repeated in another fashion in the shade, on the ribs of the shade. Also, the finish, they favored the gold finishes rather than the brown finish.
Why isn't it signed? Well, probably because about 10% of their lamps were signed. And usually, the lamps that were signed were in the more expensive lines. It has some issues with it. It sustained a crack here, and there's some cracking over here. While I wouldn't recommend replacing the glass, I would recommend taking some conservation measures to secure the glass in place. The other thing is the way that this has been wired. This socket has been changed, and there's a pull chain inside. And it's new, and it frankly doesn't work. And then what has been changed over here is this little switch that was put on. The whole thing needs to be reworked. A lamp like this should really be put into original condition if it is possible. This lamp today in a retail venue could be sold between $3,000 and $4,000. Now, if this lamp were perfect, it could be worth between $6,000 and $7,000.
I don't have to go to the gym today because lifting this thing up was...
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.