Tiffany Flower Form Vase, ca. 1915
This had been given to either my grandmother or an aunt by a male suitor, alleged to have worked for Tiffany. I like the Tiffany story because that really connects with the piece.
This is a Tiffany flower form vase. Now it should actually be completely glass. But it looks as though it was broken off of the stem and then put in this bronze base. So what you have here is we've made lemonade out of lemons. (laughing) And it stands to reason that it could've been in the hands of a Tiffany employee who may have brought it home because it was really considered a second. This piece was probably made circa 1915. The value of this would be around $700 retail. If it were the whole piece, it would be $1,500 to $2,000.
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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.
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