American Slag Glass Lamps

Value (2014) | $1,400 Auction$2,100 Auction

It was certainly serendipitous when the both of you, coming up in two sides of the line, appeared at my table this morning with two very similar lamps. America wasn't fully electrified until the 1930s, during the Depression. Up to that time, wealthier people had electric lights.

Well, back in 1927, my father-in-law went to New Jersey to stay and he lived with a woman, and it was his landlord, and ever since then, he took care of her until she deceased, at which time he got her estate, and this was one of the objects that she had in her home.

Very nice object indeed. This is made by the Handel glass manufacturing company in Meriden, Connecticut, somewhere between 1920 and 1930. Handel made several different types of lamps. They made the leaded glass lamps like you find in Tiffany lamps, then you came down a level to the slag glass lamps, and very much on the same level were the reverse-painted glass lamps. This is a slag glass lamp with a filigree overlay with this wonderful sunset glass behind it. It's just a lovely landscape lamp. Now, if you'll help me take off the shade, it's marked in two places very clearly. It's marked on the rim, "Handel," and also on the base, it has a felt sticker, and it also has the Handel mark right here. Now, before I tell you what the value is, I'm going to go to this gentleman's lamp and we can show the difference. Many people couldn't afford this type of a lamp, so in order to have more and more middle-class people be able to enjoy lamps of this type, several other factories made them at a lesser value.

Well, I acquired it from my grandparents after they deceased. It was left to me in the will. Other than that, I don't know anything about it.

We don't know the manufacturer of this lamp. There are no markings on it, but it was made around the same time as the Handel lamp-- 1920, 1925, possibly as late as 1930. Slag glass, a less elaborate overlay. Well, as Tiffany lamps are becoming more and more valuable, these lamps are also going up in value. This lamp at auction today would bring around $1,000 to $1,500. And this Handel lamp would bring considerably more. We would do very well with this lamp and probably get somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000.

That's very nice. That's great.

Appraisal Details

Update (2014)
$1,400 Auction$2,100 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$4,000 Auction$6,500 Auction
Salt Lake City, UT (July 10, 1999)

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.