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Antique Appraisals: Finds more treasured when associated with loved one

Complimentary antique appraisals from the Antique Trader staff of appraisers is a service reserved exclusively for Antique Trader magazine subscribers. In this installment: "Lady" lamps and cut glass candy dishes.

Editor’s Note: Complimentary antique appraisals (for entertainment purposes only) from the Antique Trader staff of appraisers is a service reserved exclusively for Antique Trader magazine subscribers. Learn more about subscribing at

By Susan Mullikin

Appraisal Inquiry:

We are cleaning out our great aunt’s home and wondered if these dishes or lamps have any value, what they are and where they may be from. The tall “lady” lamp was our great aunt’s mother’s so I know it’s an old piece.

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Thank you!

— J.G.

Antique Appraisals:

We hold dear our most treasured finds but when associated with a loved one they become even more treasured and handed down from generation to generation. Your lovely boudoir lamps and cut glass of your great aunt presented for appraisal appear in pictures to be in pristine excellent condition.

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The lamp you refer to as the tall lady lamp I believe was manufactured in Dresden, Germany with its elaborately flounced porcelain lace skirt, and delicate applied flowers adorning the skirt. Dresden lace figurines such as yours were made by many companies in Germany from the late nineteenth century to the present. The lace of the skirt was easy to produce. Workers dipped real lace into porcelain slip, then cut the lace and applied it to the figure in the desired position. During the firing process the real lace threads burned away leaving a replica of the mesh in the porcelain.

From the pictures alone I would appraise your lady lamp at $375 based on the following parameters: That the condition of the lamp all around is in perfect condition. Any chips or holes in the lace could possibly dampen the value by 50 percent. Also a mark on the bottom of the lamp indicating Dresden, Germany would solidify this finding.

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Your second pair of lovely lady/man lamps upon research I attribute to the manufacturer of Cordey China Company. Cordey China company was founded by Boleslaw Cybis in 1942 in Trenton, New Jersey. The firm produced gift shop items. Before Cybis developed his own formula of porcelain called “papka,” the wares were made of plaster.

In 1969 the company was acquired by the Lightron Corporation and operated as the Schiller Cordey company manufacturer of lamps. I appraise this pair of lamps at $550 based on being in excellent condition upon examination and perhaps owning the Cordey mark on the bottom of each lamp.

Lastly to address your magnificent cut glass pieces with gold overlay. I recommend a hands on examination to positively identify the pieces as cut glass versus crystal. By pictures alone though and the sparkle and the sharpness of the glass I feel they are cut glass.

Cut glass refracts light the same way a prism does showing a rainbow and the edges are sharp when felt with ones fingers. I would place a conservative estimate of $175 on the single shaped candy dish and $145 on the pair of round shaped bowls. I would recommend an inspection for a signature, some cut glass is signed by the maker and this could affect value.

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