Tiffany Lamp, ca. 1904

Value (2012) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
It was given to us by an older friend. We're a friend of the family.

APPRAISER:
Oh, okay, very nice. Well, as you know, or may have surmised, this is a Tiffany lamp. It's a leaded-glass shade and a patinated bronze base-- that very pretty, kind of Art Deco look-- and the shade here is stamped "Tiffany Studios, New York," and it's late 19th, early 20th century. Very nice quality glass, which is typical of Tiffany lamps. We'll turn this off, here. The patinated bronze base has a little compartment here-- it comes out-- and that is also stamped "Tiffany Studios." Nice lamp, great base, more common shade than many shades. I think conservatively, at auction, $8,000 to $12,000, $10,000 to $15,000. So not a bad gift.

GUEST:
Are you serious? I can't believe this!

APPRAISER:
Tiffany lamps are very desirable and people like the look.

GUEST:
Say that again.

APPRAISER:
$8,000 to $12,000, $10,000 to $15,000. Nice base, good shade.

GUEST:
I'm in shock! (laughing) Oh, I gotta sit down.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
EnservioSelect
Easthampton, MA
Update (2012)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$8,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Event
Milwaukee, WI (June 20, 1998)
Form
Lamp
Material
Bronze, Leaded Glass

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.