Tiffany Studios Lamp, ca. 1909

Value (2012) | $50,000 Auction$75,000 Auction

It was purchased by my grandfather in about 1909.


It was to be a wedding present or an anniversary present to his parents. And then it's been passed down through the family.

Well, where did he purchase it?

He purchased it in Los Angeles.

And how much did he pay for it?

At the time he paid $50 for it.

$50, okay. What you have here is a Tiffany leaded glass and patinated bronze table lamp. Now, this one is in the poinsettia pattern. As you see, very nice red-colored poinsettias throughout. This is an 18-inch shade, which is a very good shade size. Good coloration-- green and yellow, and the red flowers throughout. Now, if I could just sort of dim this light a little bit, then we'll take the shade off. It's stamped Tiffany Studios. You have the two tensioning rings, which is very much a Tiffany event. Then the base here, which is a lovely base, is stamped down here, Tiffany Studios, and numbered. Now, poinsettia is a good, collectible shade. And this is a twisting kind of trunk form base. Beautiful base, very desirable for collectors. I would say a safe auction estimate for this is $30,000 to $40,000.

Great, fantastic.

Which is a nice sort of gain on the $50 that your granddad paid for it.

It certainly is, it certainly is. That's great.

Appraisal Details

Update (2012)
$50,000 Auction$75,000 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$30,000 Auction$40,000 Auction
Los Angeles, CA (August 01, 1998)

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.