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!




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.




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.




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.




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.




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?

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 24 comments
  • Jens

    Loved it!

  • Magnusson

    Thanks, Jens!

  • Jan

    Great I get an A

  • Magnusson


  • CB


  • Fred

    Fun to play

  • John Salomone

    Rats! – I need to go out drinking more with Drew. I blew TWO of these (the 2nd & 3rd)

  • Gaye Fulton

    Loved it and scored rather well. Gaye (one of the three -Mike and Niki)

  • Magnusson

    Great! We plan on making another game blog in a month or so!

  • Magnusson

    Sounds like a plan, John!

  • Magnusson

    Glad to hear it!

  • Magnusson

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Deborah

    Fun! I got 4 out of 5 correct!

  • Carol Jean

    This was fascinating and makes me want to learn more!

  • Magnusson

    Thank you, Carol! We will have more game blogs coming up.

  • Magnusson

    Nice, Deborah!

  • Marcie

    A wonderful mind game. Was second guessing myself for all but 2 – and those were correct, thank goodness. Thank youl

  • Magnusson

    Thank you, Marcie! Glad to hear you got them right.

  • Cynthia

    Got everyone except the service set. I knew sterling silver would be more but couldn’t tell which was which from the photos.

  • Magnusson

    Fair enough. One of our goals with this series is to demonstrate just that- you can’t always grasp all the characteristics of value by looking at a photograph without doing an examination.

  • Ellen

    Great , interesting and fun little test! I appreaciate your putting this up!!!

  • Magnusson

    Thank you! We have a second version coming soon which will focus on sculpture.

  • Martha

    I missed #4, I was looking for a lamp in it.

  • Magnusson

    Yes, I see we had a typo in that question. Thanks for the feedback!

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