Tiffany Aquamarine Glass Vase
In the 1930s, my parents went to an estate sale in New Haven, Connecticut, and they bought it. And I know that they didn't pay much money for it, because they didn't have any money. It's been in the family for over 60 years.
That's wonderful. This particular glass was made at Tiffany in around 1914. Tiffany was owned and operated by Louis Comfort Tiffany, who was the son of Charles Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany and Company. This particular glass is called aquamarine glass. It was produced for a very short period of time. The glass resembles seawater. And when they first made this, they put a lot of aquatic life in it. Later on, they added flowers to it. This piece is signed on the bottom. It says "L.C. Tiffany Favrile," and then there is a number also on the bottom. Although the piece is signed, it doesn't always mean that it is Tiffany. But only Tiffany made aquamarine glass. It was such a difficult technique that no one has been able to replicate it. This was very costly to make because a lot of the pieces broke. At the time, they would sell these for between $200 and $250, and there were very few made. Your piece of glass is worth between $30,000 and $40,000. Pretty good.
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.