Spotting the Rare
There is little doubt you are familiar with Tiffany and Galle glass, but did you know these companies also produced pottery?
These are not common items, and their value is also uncommon. If a nice piece of Galle or Tiffany glass becomes available, most people will know what it is. The same can’t be said of their pottery. When you become familiar with their pottery marks, you’ll be a step ahead of the pack.
Many companies produced items aside from their main lines that are often overlooked. Very simply put, people, including dealers, are not aware of these anomalies. At the 31 Club, we are on the hunt for pieces that may not be easily recognized. As members advance through the club program, their hunt for valuable antiques and art will soon take them into the higher end of the market. And here, it’s important to be knowledgeable about what items from a particular company are rare.
Just to give you a taste of this, Kovels Price Guide lists two items for Galle pottery, both figures. One is priced at $2415 and the other $5175. Tiffany listings include sixteen pieces ranging from $200 to a high of $8,800. And, Today’s Photo is a Tiffany Vase that, back in 2003, sold for $11,000 through Buchard Galleries in Florida. Imagine what it might bring today.
Several years back, when I was previewing items at an auction, my eyes fixed upon an unassuming piece of pottery. When I examined it, lo and behold – there was the Tiffany mark, LCT, all hooked together. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.
As I hovered near the piece, I overheard a couple of dealers discussing the vase. “Can you believe they would let fakes like that in this sale,” one said. “Anyone would know the piece isn’t Tiffany.” I had to turn away to keep from asking them whether or not they’d ever seen Tiffany Pottery before. When the auction commenced and the vase was offered, the auctioneer announced they didn’t guarantee the piece to be authentic. (I’m sure he’d heard a complaint from those two dealers about fakes.)
At first there was no interest in this Tiffany piece, but finally they got a $100 bid. I made sure I sat on my hands in this early stage, but I can state with no hesitation, I was extremely anxious. When the bidding slowed at $150 I put my card up at $200, and that bid was followed by one at $225. I bid $250, and finally the auctioneer said, “SOLD.” I couldn’t believe I had just purchased a real piece of Tiffany pottery for $250. You see, most people have never seen one of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s pottery pieces. This vase sold a few months later just over $5700. Not bad for a “fake.” You may be fortunate enough to find some of their “fakes” also, ha ha.
What sweet little treasures these pieces can become, especially others think you are a fool for bidding on them or buying these pieces at house sales.
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