It Sold for WHAT?!
Hello! Welcome to the Magnusson Online Game, It Sold for WHAT?!
In this game of trivia, you are given 2 images of fine & decorative arts. Deduce which item sold for what between the options.
Ready? Set? Go!
QUESTION 1: ART GLASS
One piece of art glass sold for $325. The other sold for $840. Which sold for $840?
B! These are very different works of art, but one sold for far more money than the other. Why? Neither seller identified the artist who created the works. B did not even include a date of creation. However, B is made with Obsidian, a naturally occurring glass made from volcanoes. Not only darkly beautiful, obsidian has been used to for thousands of years by mankind. The artist showed expertise in their manipulation of obsidian, raising the price of B.
QUESTION 2: TEA SETS
One piece of these tea sets sold for $10. The other sold for $600. Which sold for $600?
A! A is a sterling silver tea set, while B is a silverplate example. While I did not examine either object or affect either sale, I suspect that Object A is worth double its sold price. Sterling silver objects are almost always more desirable and valuable than silverplate objects. Silverplate is a base metal with an insignificant silver content. The silverplate set doesn’t have an alternative marketplace, really, except maybe at an Estate Sale of significance that is already bringing in strong buyers. They might be tempted if it’s displayed nicely on the sideboard they are already purchasing.
QUESTION 3: LAMPS
One of these lamps sold for $650. The other sold for $2,000. Which sold for $2,000?
A! For lamp lovers out there, A has a, “Patinated bronze base with later, floral glass shade.” The seller of A made sure to include a detailed description of the lamp’s condition & noted that the lamp functions because it had been rewired. B is a also is patinated & contains a floral design, but the seller does not say that the base is bronze. Overall, the B’s seller includes very little information about the lamp, which could make buyers weary to bid. Also, remember that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
QUESTION 4: BRONZE FIGURES
One of these bronzes sold for $200. The other sold for $27,500. Which sold for $27,500?
A! Whoa, what a difference in price! Both works are gorgeous, but A takes the the huge price tag as an antique circa 1800. B is circa the 1900s. A savvy shopper will note that this is not a huge difference in age, so it still does not totally explain the difference in price. While I was not involved in the sale of either item, Figure B was sold at a much smaller auction venue than Figure A. Perhaps if marketed more appropriately, the owners of B could have received more money for their bronze.
FINAL ROUND- QUESTION 5: TAPESTRIES
One of these tapestries sold for $200. The other sold for $4,000. Which sold for $4,000?
B! As we said in a past article, age does not always mean a greater value. However, age does add value to tapestries, particularly those in good condition and properly maintained. B is a Flemish tapestry from the late 18th century, while seller A offered no information on the date of creation. A is probably a Continental work of the mid-20th century, evidenced primarily by brighter colors of synthetic dyes. Natural dyes become softer and more muted with age.
How did you do? Did any of the sale prices surprise you?
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Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator