Steuben & Loetz Vases, ca. 1900
It is a bud vase. And it's golden iridescent, which most people assume automatically is Tiffany. We'll see that it actually has a different name on it. And it says, "Steuben Aurene," and it has a number on it, which refers to the shape number of the piece. They were made during the same time, and Steuben was Tiffany's largest competitor here in the States. This piece is in excellent condition, and on today's market, if it was to come up at a show, I would probably be asking anywhere from $500 to $600 for it. This piece, as you noted, is Loetz. And on the bottom, it's signed. It says, "Loetz, Austria." At one point in time, this piece was bigger, and it probably had a chip in the rim. To make it appear new again, somebody took the top of it and cut it off. 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 sell for about $15,000 to $18,000.
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.
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