I got a real lesson on miniature lamps last week by attending Sohn's auction where there were many of these little jewels sold. I just happened to be on the front row sitting with this wonderful lady who had traveled quite a distance to buy these small lamps. When the first one sold, she was the high bidder and, if I remember right, it brought a couple of hundred dollars. This caught my attention. She continued to bid on each lamp thereafter and was successful on almost all of them.
My curiosity got the best of me, so I followed her when the lamp sales had been completed and began a conversation with her about the lamps that she had purchased. To my surprise, she was just a collector who admired these lamps because there had been several in her home as a child. I feel certain that she spent $5000 or more on lamps by the time the auction was finished. I asked how she knew that they were real and not reproductions and her answer was “just by seeing so many of them”.
My interest had been piqued, so I went to the table where most of the lamps sat and examined several of them. Sure enough, I began to have confidence that with a little practice and some reading, I also could tell the difference. How many times had I passed these little jewels at garage and house sales thinking that they all were reproductions? I was amazed when I got home and searched eBay for miniature lamps and found that there were 687 listed, with many over $500.
Examining these little beauties, I began to find examples of all the larger varieties of lamps that people search for all the time. There were cut glass, satin glass, milk glass and every other description of glass you can think of that had been molded or blown into the little beacons of light. I was amazed to find a great book on miniature lamps by Frank and Ruth Smith called, of all things, Miniature Lamps.
I hope that you have learned a very important lesson from my experience, that being there are things that can be learned at auctions alongside the buying you do. I am sure that the time spent with that wonderful lady will be turned into money in my pocket. Whenever you attend an auction, make the time worthwhile. Don't sit there like a bump on a log but talk to people and you may learn something that will be priceless in your future.
I remember a little song when I attended
My 220 page book about how to make money buying and selling antiques & collectibles is FREE with your membership in the Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectible Club. Join Us Today