Tiffany Studios Gilt-Bronze Box
It was a gift to me and my husband from my mother-in-law. She worked for a very prominent family, and they lived in Connecticut. And it was given to her in the '40s. I believe it was made by Tiffany.
That's right, by Tiffany Studios, which was founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany at the turn of the century. And he was the son of the famous silversmith Charles Tiffany, who started the big shop in New York. What we have here is part of a desk set. It's a gilt bronze piece. And this would have belonged to a larger set that would have included blotter ends, a little stamp box... I think a full set could have had about 15 different pieces in it. It is a hinged box, which is a little more substantial than several of the pieces that you would find in the desk set. What's most unusual about it is the pattern and the fact that it has the glass stones which are meant to look as if they are cabochon sapphires and emeralds. At auction, it would bring about $1,000 to $1,500.
Wow, that's great.
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.