Duffner & Kimberly Lamp, ca. 1909

Value (2012) | $6,000 Retail

I brought a stained-glass lamp that my mom bought in the '60s at an antique shop in Minnesota.

Do you know what she paid?

She paid $75.

And what did she think she was buying?

She always hoped it was an unsigned Tiffany, but I, um...had my doubts about that.

When you brought the lamp in, I started looking at certain components of it that definitely did not remind me of Tiffany. What I thought was that the lamp had been made by a company called Duffner and Kimberly, based in New York. Kimberly actually worked for Tiffany Studios in the 1890s, and he formed the company with Frank Duffner in December 1905. They were in full-scale production in 1906, 1907. Now, when I looked at the lamp, one of the first things I looked at is the cap. And this is one of two types of caps made by Duffner and Kimberly and it was used on a lot of their lamps. Basically, it's a stamped metal. And it's a fleur-de-lis design. Then I turned over the bottom. What you have is a flat-iron plate, held together. There's a nut here, and then that's holding a pipe that goes down the middle of the base. This is common to almost all of the Duffner and Kimberly lamps. What I'm just going to do is put the shade on the lamp. Now, the thing about Duffner and Kimberly is by probably 1908, they were already having financial difficulties and they weren't doing very well in New York. But they started to do well in the Midwest. So Duffner and Kimberly was represented by a company called the Chicago Electric Shop. They had up to a hundred lamps in the store. So they were very much the main distributor for them. Now, what I found, this is a reproduction from a magazine called Electric City. And this is from June 1909, and this is a display in the Chicago Electric Shop. And here on the table is your lamp.

My word!

I can't say that this is the exact lamp, because I do know of at least two other examples of this. But it could very well be the lamp.


This is an acorn and oak leaf lamp. And what's very nice is the design is completely consistent, because we have this lovely border along the edge, showing acorns and oak leaves. And then all of that motif is repeated in the base. The finish is also a Duffner and Kimberly finish. They didn't spend as much money on their finishes the way Tiffany did, and so they're a little more recognizable. This is a real statuary bronze finish. If this were in a retail shop, it would sell for around $6,000.

Okay, great. Super.

Appraisal Details

Lillian Nassau LLC
New York, NY
Appraised value (2012)
$6,000 Retail
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)

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.