Tiffany results mixed at Julia's Glass and Lamp auction last week

Tiffany Daffodil Jonquil table lamp

Tiffany Daffodil Jonquil table lamp

If you’re going to sell anything at auction, make sure the estimate and reserve are low enough to attract interest. And that’s exactly the point at Julia’s Glass and Lamp auction last week. Many of the Tiffany leaded lamps in the sale, including a Daffodil/Jonquil, a Peony, a Tulip, and others, did not sell because the estimates were too high and as a result, there was little interest in those items. Items with more conservative estimates did well, such as a gorgeous padded and wheel-carved poppy vase, estimated at $25-35,000 and selling for $32,500 + premium, for a total of $37,375.
Tiffany poppy vase

Tiffany poppy vase

As a whole, the glass and desk set items performed well. A gold vase with intaglio-carved leaf and vine decoration, in the original Tiffany Studios box it was purchased in, sold for $4,485, against an estimate of $2,500-3,500. A solid red Tiffany vase, estimated at $5-7000, sold for $7,475. A beautiful big flower form vase, estimated at $4-6,000, doubled its high estimate and sold for $12,075, again proving that the items with the most conservative estimates did the best.

Tiffany flower form vase

Tiffany flower form vase

In desk set items, as should be expected, the rare and unusual items did best. A rare Pine Needle clock, estimated at $7,500-$10,000, sold within the estimate for $8,625. A Ninth Century frame, estimated at $4-6,000, sold within the estimate for $5,750, and a Spanish desk lamp, estimated at $8-10,000, sold for $8,625, slightly below the estimate, before buyer’s premium.

Apparently the Tiffany market is alive and well. If the consignors were willing to take the risk and estimate their items low enough, much more would have sold, probably at prices exceeding the estimates. That requires gambling on the part of the consignors and apparently too few consignors are willing to gamble. Quite understandable, but not the best business decision.

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