Steuben & Loetz Vases, ca. 1900

Value (2004) | $800 Retail$1,100 Retail

The first, I believe, is a Tiffany bud vase, and my grandfather purchased it in Baltimore for $7.50.

Wow. How long ago was that?

60 years ago.

And this one?

I believe that is a "Lertz." Correct me if I'm wrong.


Loetz. And my grandfather purchased it 50 years ago for four dollars.

Let's talk about this one first. It is a bud vase. Obviously, just a single flower would go into it. And it's golden iridescent, which most people assume automatically is Tiffany or Louis Comfort Tiffany's work. But if we turn this piece over, we'll see that it actually has a different name on it and not one that's Tiffany's. And it says "Steuben Aurene," and it has a number on it, which refers to the shape number of the piece. So it's not a gold Tiffany Favrile piece but it's a Steuben gold Aurene piece. They were made during the same time, and Steuben was Tiffany's largest competitor here in the States. You said he paid $7.50 for it?

That's correct.

This piece is in excellent condition, and on today's market if it was come up at a show, I would probably be asking anywhere from $500 to $600 for it. So that's a pretty good rate of return.


Let's talk about this piece. This piece, as you noted, is Loetz. And on the bottom it's signed; it says "Loetz, Austria," which is a little uncommon. Most pieces that Loetz did were not signed. And Loetz was an Austrian firm that was producing iridescent glass similar to Tiffany's around the same time period, the Art Nouveau period. What made me really excited about this piece is the fact that it has extruded handles. Extruded handles are a little bit different than handles that are applied. And what that means is these pieces are, as you can see, pulled through the glass instead of being made and then applied on at a later time. This piece is pinched on three sides, has wonderful oil-spot decoration. Extruded handles is extremely, extremely hard to find. One of the things we do talk about on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is condition and how condition plays a huge role in what the value of the piece is. This piece, as we look again, has a polished pontil, as it should. But something tells me that there's something wrong with it, and that's the fact that this top is flattened down. At one point in time this piece was bigger, and it probably had a chip in the rim. And so to make it appear new again, somebody took the top of it and cut it off, cut it off and then made it smooth. This should have been rounded in and iridized, you know, all the way around, instead of, you know, the shiny finish that we have here. So, because it's not in mint condition doesn't mean all is lost. Somebody would still like to have this piece, you know, to show as an example of a rare design. I would imagine somebody would be willing to pay $300 to $500 for this piece. If the piece was in original condition, it would probably be about this tall, maybe a little bit taller, and would probably sell for about $15,000 to $18,000.


So that kind of lets you know if a piece is not in original condition just how greatly it can reduce the value of a piece. But it's still very exciting to see because we rarely see these, and we really appreciate you bringing it in.

Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Reyne Gallery
Cincinnati, OH
Appraised value (2004)
$800 Retail$1,100 Retail
Memphis, TN (July 31, 2004)
Art Nouveau

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