Torino Chrome Robot Lamp, ca. 1979

Value (2014) | $1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I was just out antiquing one day and I went to a shop, and it caught my eye. It wasn't marked yet. I'm into old lamps from the '60s, '50s, '70s.

APPRAISER:
And where was the shop?

GUEST:
Mid-Bismarck on Main.

APPRAISER:
So a local shop. And how much did you pay for it?

GUEST:
$35.

APPRAISER:
$35. So it's a great example of a chromed lamp from the 1970s. The label on the back says "Torino Lamp Company," which is an Italian company. Other than that information there's not a lot out there about the manufacturer.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I have seen this in various other forms. A woman, a shorter figure, a dog... I've seen a policeman as well. But other than those items that have sold or are selling, there's really no information about the manufacturer. I did find a Montgomery Ward catalog from 1979 online that has the original retail price for the piece at $129.99.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So you're ahead of the game already. Despite the fact that we don't have information about the company, the modern market has exploded in the last ten years. So anything that has a great look, which this does, is going to do well in the marketplace. Condition-wise, it's almost perfect for a piece of this age. It wouldn't be uncommon to see either pitting or rust coming through. You don't see that at all on this. It has the original light bulb on the top. These are replacements here on the sides. I love this on-and-off switch, which is his nose controlling the lights. All three on. I love the illumination in the eyes, which is fantastic. Well, I talked with some of my colleagues backstage, and this does have a lot of wow factor.

APPRAISER:
I think in today's marketplace, at auction, we'd be looking at $1,500 to $2,500.

GUEST:
Wow, very cool.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers, Boston
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2014)
$1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Event
Bismarck, ND (May 31, 2014)

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