Tiffany Studios Bronze Candlestick, ca. 1910
There's an interesting story surrounding this candlestick. Would you like to tell me?
Well, yes. It was my grandmother's, and she kept it in a special party room. And ever since I was a certain age, I just loved it. And when I turned 21, she gave it to me as a gift.
Now, what was it like when you inherited it?
It was dark, it was all dark. And I polished it. I hope I didn't ruin it.
Now, do you know that it is by Tiffany Studios? This is a candlestick that was made between 1900 and 1918. It is signed on the underside, very clearly. It is signed, "Tiffany Studios, New York," and the model number. But Karen, I'm afraid that when you did clean it, you removed about 80% of the value of this candlestick. Remember when your mother would say to you, "Less is best"?
She was right in this case. But she probably taught you to be a very good housekeeper, so you wanted to make it nice and clean and shiny. But you took off all the original patina.
You're down to the copper sheathing on the bronze candlestick. It can be restored, but it would still be a restored patina. Instead of it being worth $1,000 to $1,500, which it would be worth if it were perfect, it is now worth about $200.
Oh, really? But it's still valuable to me.
Exactly, you can't put a price on that.
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.
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