Tiffany & Co. Silver Frames, ca. 1900
I bought it at an estate sale from a prominent family a couple of years ago in Portland.
And how much did you pay for it?
I paid what I thought was quite a bit of money-- about $1,200.
$1,200. It's an American silver picture frame made by Tiffany and Company. Tiffany and Company is the epitome of quality, craftsmanship, artistic expression. And it's got a very Art Nouveau flavor. I don't think it was a commercial production. I think they made this one, and that was it, because it's so big and so heavy and so robust. I particularly love the Art Nouveau influence of the strapwork along the borders. You can see the quality is so amazing. It's even decorated on the sides. They put a little bit of a bevel on the bottom so that it stood upright correctly. And the back is remarkable. I mean, they just don't miss a detail. When Tiffany made a high-quality item, they didn't spare. It's got a signature on the bottom, and because of that signature, I can date it to maybe about between 1892 and 1904. The auction value today would probably be somewhere in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.
Okay-- oh, my goodness. I'm very happy to hear that, thank you.
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.
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