1966 Inscribed Orrefors "Ariel" Vase
I was at a consignment shop in Greenville, South Carolina, and I saw a vase there, and I thought it was very pretty, and I bought it.
Did you know what it was?
Not at all.
Well, this is a piece of art glass made by a Swedish company called Orrefors. Orrefors started making glass in the late 19th century, but the art glass production wasn't made until the teens. There were several different lines made at Orrefors. This type of glass is called Ariel. The name refers to the air spirit in Shakespeare's play The Tempest.
There are a couple of layers involved in here, and there's air that's trapped in it. It's probably some of the heaviest glass I've ever handled. Initially Ariel was made in the 1930s. The designs that were made in the 1930s were continued into the 1960s, sometimes even the 1970s. This is a design that I don't ever remember seeing before. Ordinarily the most prevalent design is of this woman in half profile facing a dove, and I've seen that over and over and over again. So I was really delighted when I saw this because it was something different. Did you notice that there was an inscription on it?
Yeah, I see the inscription on the bottom here, like it was a trophy or something. And I guess it's in Swedish, because I can't translate it.
Well, it is in Swedish. We consulted as many people as we could who might have some knowledge of the Swedish language. And what we discovered is the first thing that's on there, it says "SCIM." We think that's an acronym for some type of organization. But then it also says, "Jönköping," which is actually a place in Sweden. One thing that I can tell you for sure, it was made in 1966, which is the date on the inscription. And the reason I know that is because on the underside, it says “Orrefors," and then it says "Ariel," which is the type of glass. Then there is a number, 207A. In my reference material, they show that the number 207A is the year 1966. So that corresponds with the inscription. Also, it's signed by the artist, Edwin Ohrstrom. Edwin Ohrstrom was the person who came to Orrefors in the 1930s and worked with this particular line for many, many years. And he was a sculptor by training. And one of the great things about this piece is that it almost feels like a piece of sculpture. In a retail store this would sell today for between $5,000 and $7,000.
How much did you pay for it?
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.
Broadway's Best on PBS
Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles; One Man, Two Guvnors; Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, and Lea Salonga in Concert.