Antiques Roadshow guest’s eyes bulge at ‘fantastic’ £14 investment from thrift store hunt

Antiques Roadshow saw a guest taken aback when he was told of the true value of the thrift store lamps that he purchased more than 15 years ago.

Filming at the Mount Washington Resort, owners of treasured items were welcomed through the doors for the PBS daytime series to find out more about their antiques.

One of these guests brought in two identical glass lamps to be appraised by expert Arlie Sulka but first explained how they came to be in his possession.

“These white lamps I saw at a thrift store over 15 years ago”, he said.

“I wasn’t really looking for lamps [but] I thought they were cool and they’re glass.

“It wasn’t until I moved into my recent place where somebody pointed out that ‘Hey, they actually might be legitimately old and worth something’ and it made me curious ever since.”

Read more: BBC Antiques Roadshow’s rare brooch bought for £20 sells for staggering profit

When asked how much he paid for them, the guest said it was no more than $9 from a thrift store in Atlanta.

He continued: “I’d go to thrift stores all the time just to explore and treasure hunt.

“But I don’t really collect anything particular and these just stuck out.”

It was then Sulka’s job to give some more clarity on the items, stating that they were made by Finnish artist Lisa Johansson-Pape who was born in 1907.

Sulka said: “She actually made lamps, glass lamps, during the Second World War and then in the 1950s, she started to collaborate with a very famous company called Littala, which is still in existence today.

“It’s a Finnish company and as best as I can figure, she probably designed these in about 1954 and then I think that they were produced as late as 1969, I’d say a circa date of 1960.

“They came in two sizes and yours is the larger size. They’re in very good shape, it’s an opaque glass.”

Sulka added that these lamps were a mushroom shape with another piece of hers resembling an onion.

“She definitely liked a stylised, streamlined, fruit and vegetable inspiration”, the expert commented.

Sulka then summarised: “Because they’re the larger size, in a retail venue, these would sell for between anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000.”

Upon hearing this, the guest’s eyes bulged, with him exclaiming: “Wow. For the pair or each?”

“For the pair”, she clarified with the guest reacting: “Pair? Wow. Wow! That’s a great $20 investment!”

Sulka added: “Fantastic. And the design is so interesting that I think already, even in the 1980s, they were being copied or they were inspiring other designs.”

The guest then stated: “Wow. Great eye from a very good friend.”

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on PBS.


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