Steuben & Loetz Vases, ca. 1900

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

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

APPRAISER:
Wow. How long ago was that?

GUEST:
60 years ago.

APPRAISER:
And this one?

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

APPRAISER:
Loetz.

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

APPRAISER:
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?

GUEST:
That's correct.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Reyne Gallery
Cincinnati, Ohio
Appraised value (2004)
$800 Retail$1,100 Retail
Event
Memphis, TN (July 31, 2004)
Period
Art Nouveau
Form
Vase
Material
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.