J. & L. Lobmeyr Vase, ca. 1885
This piece was actually done by J. & L. Lobmeyr. If you look on the bottom, there is a white enamel monogram mark. You have the J. & L., and it's anywhere from the early 1880s to the early 1890s. In the 19th century, the Austrians and the French started doing pieces in the Persian style. So Lobmeyr and Brocard, two houses, did probably the largest number of pieces of this style. The shape is a traditional Persian shape. If you look at the handles, the same thing. The handles show beautiful Persian designs and just great colors. Usually, the vases are more monochromatic. The icing on the cake on this piece is the fact that instead of having just flowers and geometric designs, you have the giraffes and the storks. In a retail store, I would put a value of, conservatively, $20,000 to $30,000 on this piece.
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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."
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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.
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