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Antiques Roadshow guest in tears as expert issues warning over table lamp: ‘Don’t ever!’

Antiques Roadshow: 1925 lamp valued at up to $15,000

Antiques Roadshow is a staple of British television, airing on the BBC for over four decades but over in America, the programme airs on the PBS network. The moment which left a guest in tears came when glass expert Arlie Sulka gave her verdict on a bespoke Louis Comfort Tiffany table lamp. On closer inspection, the latter realised the relic needed to be handled with the greatest of care after revealing the light ornament’s astonishing value.

Arriving in Phoenix, Arizona, the expert asked the guest how the lamp came to be in her possession to which the latter revealed: “I was taking a walk in the morning.

“And I got about four houses down from where I live, and there was a sign that said, ‘Free’,” she continued.

“And so I walked by it the first day and then the second day. I thought about it again, and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll take this, and it’s pretty ugly, but I can give it to somebody, but it’s a lamp, so I’ll just take it.’

“So, when I brought it home, I ran over to my neighbour and asked him if he could cut the cord off and fix it.

“He said the plug alone is really old, and that I should wait and find out about the lamp before I cut it off,” the guest continued.

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“He could always cut it off if I wanted to, but I should wait and find out about it before I do,” the guest added.

Arlie began her analysis as she said: “Okay, so, I’m going to tell you about your lamp. It is a Louis Comfort Tiffany lamp.

“It’s actually made by Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc., which is one of the names of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s companies.

“He had several names starting in the late 1870s, going into the early 1930s. This is the next-to-last name of the company.”

“So, this would date from 1920 to about 1928,” the expert continued, with the guest in absolute disbelief.

The expert explained: “And you have a gilded-bronze base with the enamel design around the foot, and then what we call a damascene blown-glass shade with wonderful iridescence on the outside.

“These came in several different colours, and there’s sort of a hierarchy of value in the colours. This one is the caramel colour.

“Something like this is very desirable because it’s intact, and the shade is one of the better colours. This comes off.”

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Something like this could sell for between $10,000

Antiques Roadshow expert

Uncovering the branding on the lamp after lifting off the light shade, the expert said: “It says, ‘L.C.T. Favrile’ And Favrile meant, to Tiffany, it was his trademark word for handmade.”

Finally disclosing the value of the piece, Arlie revealed: “In a retail venue, something like this could sell for between $10,000 and $15,000.”

The guest couldn’t believe her luck and as a result, wiped away her tears as she struggled to hold back the emotion.

However, the glass professional explained the owner of the lamp needed to be careful and issued a stark warning.

Arlie said: “You definitely want to get it rewired because there’s absolutely no value in original wiring.

“And please, don’t ever transport it in one, in one piece with the shade on, like you did, because the bulk of the value is in this shade,” she warned.

“And if you broke the shade, the base would be worth about $500 to $1,000. So the shade is very important.”

The guest listened intently as she wanted to make sure her priceless find stayed in the best condition possible.

Antiques Roadshow is available to stream on BBCiPlayer.

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