It Sold for What?! – Home & Travel

Hello! Welcome to the Magnusson Trivia Game, It Sold for WHAT?! – Home & Travel Edition

In this game of deduction, you are given 2 images of fine or decorative arts. Guess which item sold for what between the two options.

Ready? Set? Go!




owl 2

One of these weathervanes sold for $11,000. The other sold for $3,000. Which sold for $11,000?

A!  Both weathervanes were made in the early 20th century out of copper. However, A is a rarer, gilded owl that shows greater dimension & detail.  In 2014, the auction selling A gave it an estimate of only $2-3000.  Bidding was competitive and it eventually sold for $11,000.  In 2016, (with this sale information publicly available) another auction placed an estimate of $5-8000 on B.  Few bidders were enticed to participate, and it sold for only $3000.  Sometimes, a lower estimate will entice more bids. In the heat of a live auction, exciting things can happen!





One of these pearl necklaces sold for $45,000. The other sold for $150. Which sold for $45,000?

A! Every woman has a pearl necklace, right?  Maybe. Plastic beads, faux, natural or cultured, all look amazingly similar to the untrained eye. Which do you own? The tooth scratch test is still a legitimate test to discover what is real vs. fake.

A has 240 saltwater pearls & only ONE of them is cultured. Cultured pearls are farmed in order to make jewelry. The other pearls are all “natural” pearls, meaning they grew without human intervention.  It is rare for a single necklace to have so many large natural pearls.  In addition, the clasp is platinum, ruby and diamonds. A sold at auction before Christmas last year (perhaps a gift?) for $45,000. B is an example of cultured pearls, which are made by planting a nucleus (irritant) within a mollusk and harvesting them a few years later. Such necklaces can be found for more affordable sums.  This strand of graduated cultured pearls sold for only $150.




One of these elephant figurines sold for €12,500. The other sold for €100. Which sold for €12,500?

B! An object created by a well-respected artist will almost always sell for more than an object created by an anonymous craftsman employed at a studio.  B was designed by Italian artist & director of Murano’s Museum of Glass, Napoleone Martinuzzi. The Venini & Company originally made this work in 1930. A few years ago, it sold at a European auction for €12,500.  A is a finely painted porcelain figurine made by Hoeffner & Company, Dresden. Such objets d’art have fallen out of favor recently. It only sold for €100.




One of these fireplace sets sold for $2,700. The other sold for $41. Which sold for $2,700?

B! Many homes have indoor fireplaces and their requisite tool set. A is a vintage 1980s brass horse-head fireplace set. Goodwill sold the set on eBay for a cool $41. In contrast, B is an elegant, contemporary brushed chrome on iron & steel set from the 1970s. It was created by the designer Michael Taylor. B Sold in NJ for $2,700!  Why? Architectural Digest named Taylor, who was known for his “California Look,” one of the “20 Greatest Designers of All Time.” Again, we see an example of designer attribution adding value.

How did you do? Did any of the answers surprise you?

If you loved this Magnusson Trivia, tell us in the comments so we will create more for you!

Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator

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Showing 4 comments
  • Jill Kearney

    As professional Senior Move Managers, we always refer our clients to the experts, when they want to know if something is “valuable.” We are often surprised at what is –and is not! Thank for you sharing these reality checks (I actually got three of four wrong! Ack.) It’s always fun to see what the market with appreciate.

  • Magnusson

    You’re welcome, Jill! Especially during a move, it can be extremely hard to see the gems among all the “stuff.” Thank you for the feedback!

  • M-arcie hanhart

    As a non professional who just loves this kind of thing and likes to think she has a good eye, I actually missed only 1 – the owl weather vane… basically it was guessing. But I think what is so interesting is that I did it sort of “counter intuitively”. If it seemed too obvious or ornate – I picked the other one.

    Such fun and great learnings to know precisely why. Would love to see more.

  • Magnusson

    Thank you, Marcie! Developing a “good eye” is something that takes years to acquire, but it sounds like you are getting there. Perhaps one of these days, we can make an “expert” version that is multiple choice & only looks at one item at a time.

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