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Woman thinks her old vase is ugly but is stunned to find out its rich history and $100K value

Antiques And Treasures

Antique Roadshow is a beloved program for the rare and unique antiques that people bring in and the fascinating stories behind each item.

Viewers are captivated by the wide array of treasures, some of which are considered ugly by their owners. Such is the story you’re about to read.

A Chicago resident brought an old Tiffany vase to the “Antiques Roadshow” that she got from her uncle’s aunt.

The woman did not know much about the item, except that it was made by Tiffany and Company and was sterling silver with enamel decoration.

The appraiser identified the letter “T” on the bottom of the item, revealing that it was made between 1891 and 1902 when Charles Tiffany was in charge. The appraiser then explained that the first number on the bottom of the item was the pattern number, and the second was the order number.

‘The Ugly Vase’

The appraiser chuckled at the woman’s initial reaction to the antique. “When you first came in, what did you tell me when you took it out of the bag?” he asked. The guest sheepishly replied, “I said, ‘It’s ugly.'”

The appraiser agreed, but the more he examined the item, the more impressed he became. The Tiffany and Co. sterling silver piece was adorned with beautiful enamel decorations and American stones, and it was made for the Columbian Exposition.

The appraiser went on to explain that the item was unusual because it had American stones, including American turquoise. The owner was surprised to learn this and did not know where the aunt got the Tiffany vase.

They only knew that she lived in downtown Chicago near the Midway Plaisance, which was part of the site of the Columbian Exposition.

The appraiser then asked the owner when the Columbian Exposition was held, and they responded that it was in 1893.

Historical Importance

The appraiser then revealed that the vase was made for the Columbian Exposition by Tiffany and Company. The owner was astonished to learn this and exclaimed, “Oh, my God.”

The mark on the bottom of the item, a globe with a T superimposed on it and a tiny line in the middle that says “Tiffany,” was the exhibition signature for pieces in the World’s Fair.

The owner’s great-aunt must have had a special friend or one of her several husbands who gave her the item, the appraiser suggested.

‘How Much Is It Again?’

The appraiser then asked the owner if they had any idea what the item was worth. The owner guessed around $15,000 because it was sterling.

Tiffany antiques are highly valued for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship, which is a result of the company’s commitment to using only the finest materials and employing skilled artisans.

In addition, the designs of Tiffany antiques are often intricate and highly detailed, with a level of artistry that is hard to replicate. Furthermore, the Tiffany name has become synonymous with luxury and exclusivity, which has only served to increase the demand for their antiques and drive up their prices.

All of these factors contribute to the high cost of Tiffany antiques, making them a coveted and valuable addition to any collection.

The appraiser replied that with all the enameling and everything else, the piece would be worth much more than that. Finally, the appraiser revealed that the item was worth between $50,000 to $100,000 in today’s market.

The owner laughed and said it was still ugly, to which the appraiser agreed. The woman left the show, likely excited about the potential value of their inherited Tiffany vase, but still unimpressed by its aesthetic qualities.

This just goes to show how an unassuming item can have a significant historical and monetary value. The owner knew little about the item’s origin or history, but the appraiser’s expertise helped shed light on its unique story.

The owner’s great-aunt likely obtained the item from a special friend or husband, and it was made for the Columbian Exposition, adding to its historical significance.

Regardless of their appearance, these antiques hold a significant place in history and are eagerly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.

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Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

Still ugly though

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