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19th century cupola should bring at least $1,400

In this assessment of three Ask the Experts reader inquiries, Dr. G. Marchelos speaks about awareness and timing when it comes to the value an item may command.

This very rare and old Cupola by King Mfg. came off a church that was built in 1869. Not sure if the cupola was original or added later. This cupola also has a weather vane and lightning bulb. This cupola is in EXCEPTIONAL condition for the age. The glass bulb is still intact and beautiful. What might be the value?
—C.L., via email

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A This is indeed a 19th century cupola with glass lightning rod. These appear to be in great condition considering their age, use and position on top of the church.

The glass appears to have had a color change because of the sun hitting the magnesium in the pressed glass ball.

This antique would easily bring at least $1,400 and perhaps as much as $1,800 if the right collector catches the sale. These were common into the early 20th century but are increasingly hard to find today. There is a fairly large group of collectors who specialize in this type of artifact, especially old lightning rods. Salesmen were knocking on doors around the Tampa Bay area, which has heavy lightning activity, as late as the 1960s selling lightning rods to homeowners.

Missing Parts Lessens Value

QI just purchased a Griswold double burner stove, and I am curious whether it is real or a knock off. I cannot find any information about it. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about it?

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The spelling on the back is incorrect, but there is honestly nothing about this stove, it has only one screw holding the burners on and the burners are much different then any other I have seen. Any information you would have is appreciated.
— S.K., via email

A This is certainly a double burner Griswold gas stove. It is probably correct but parts are missing. As a result, the stove would command a very low price and would be used for parts.

Griswold was in business from 1865 to 1957. During this time they made stoves, skillets, etc. in a variety of models. Marine stoves are the rarest. All should have a model number as this one does.


Scarcity Impacts Zodiac Table

QI purchased this Tiffany piece years ago at an auction. It is a Tiffany & Co. bronze tilt top Zodiac table. It is 16 1/2 inches in diameter by 31 1/4 inches tall. The Zodiac top is very detailed. The underside of the top is marked “Tiffany & Co 772.”

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I have not been able to find any information about this piece and am hoping you may be able to help. Thank you.
— D.A., via email

A Tiffany produced a wide range of Zodiac bronze items around 1910. This particular table is in average worn condition with an ornate top surface and barley-twist design into the bronze base.

It would bring $1,500 to $2,000 in most venues in this condition. Zodiac items are scarce, but not normally rare.


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