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‘Puffy’ shades bring in the highest prices

By   /   November 14, 2012  /   Be the first to comment

The Pairpoint Manufacturing Company was, at the turn of the century, one of the largest manufacturers of silver plate in the United States.

Located on the waterfront in New Bedford, Pairpoint originally started making coffin fittings. In 1894 it merged with Mt. Washington Glassworks, blending the glass and metal skills to make lamps and other objects. The shades were blown glass and hand painted with most being signed by the artist. The lamp bases were bronze, copper, brass, silver, wood and always signed “Pairpoint” with two lines above and below the letter “P.”

The highly decorative styles were popular until the Depression, when financial hardship and a change in style trends resulted in a restructuring of the company.

This Pairpoint lamp with the “puffy” shade sold at auction for $7,500.

Pairpoint lamps still have a lot of admirers. “Puffy” shades, like the one shown here, are the most desired by collectors. This one sold at auction for $7,500. Three years ago, a “Puffy Begonia” sold for a record $63,000 at auction.

Ceramic Wild Turkey bottle

Question: I have eight unopened ceramic bottles in the shape of wild turkeys that are filled with the original whiskey. The bottom is stamped “Austin Nichols 1971.” What is it worth and how can I sell it?

Answer: Many whiskey distillers offer their spirits in a commemorative bottle. Unfortunately, due to the large number on the market, the bottle is only worth its “memories.” The question then becomes: Is the aged whiskey worth anything?

The aging process of whiskey stops when it is bottled (versus remaining in its original keg). Assuming no air has entered the bottle, this bourbon whiskey would taste the same as when it was bottled in the ’70s. Its value would be at most what Wild Turkey whiskey sells for today. This would be a difficult sale.

Craigslist or eBay and other online services have policies against selling alcohol. I would suggest to sell to someone privately or to someone with a liquor license.

Karen Waterman is an antique furniture and decorative arts appraiser in the East Bay area and will answer as many questions about your own “hidden treasures” as possible. By sending a letter or e-mail with a question, you give full permission for use in the column. Names, addresses or e-mail will not be published and photos will be returned if requested. Send e-mails (digital photos are encouraged) to trashortreasure@ymail.com. Send snail mail to East Bay Newspapers, Att. Karen Waterman, P.O. Box 90, Bristol, RI 02809.

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