Monday, August 22, 2011

One Man's Trash - Another Woman's Treasure (Another Lamp Tale)

A few weeks back, I went to my favorite little thrift store just to look around while waiting to meet someone. It's a smallish place with small items and clothing - not much in the way of furniture. I find lots of books and tabletop items there.

This day happened to be their busiest day of the week - Monday. Everything on a hanger was half price. Most people were there to find clothing. I was looking for lamps. My daughter has recently moved into an unfurnished house, so I thought I would see if they had anything she might like.

Then I saw her.  A lovely lamp. The price was $3.93. 
No-brainer - SOLD!

The first thing that caught my eye was her shape - very lovely feminine curves. As I took her off the shelf, I admired her patina - tarnished silver. Yummy. I like tarnish.

Then, something caught my eye; a little blue enamel emblem.

I took a closer look and read, "RGC" and below it, "Invitational Tournament  1931  Seventh Flight Winner."  I realized this curvaceous lamp was a trophy someone had converted to a lamp. My first thought was, "WHY would someone get rid of this lovely, sentimental trophy???" 
They were probably going totally modern and slick, 
and she didn't quite fit in.

My second thought was, "This thing could be sterling silver!"  
I couldn't wait to get home and take her apart to look for stamps on the bottom. (Yes - sort of like undressing the new Barbie doll.) So I paid my money for the lamp and a few other items and calmly walked out the door, feeling a twinge of guilt.

When I arrived home, I grabbed my wrench and loosened the fitting that held the retrofit base in place. Sure enough, there were stampings, and one of them said, STERLING.

I was thrilled, needless to say. I Googled "Sedlacek & Sons" and "antique sterling golf trophy" and got several hits: two trophies, one exactly like my lamp, sold at auction for $517.50 in 2006. The maker also did a cigarette holder which is smaller than my lamp, now listed for $225. on Ruby Lane's web site.

I dressed her in a borrowed shade from my bedroom side table lamp and photographed her.

See, people? She can look good with a modern shade, too. So, now what?
  • Do I keep this lovely trophy lamp for her aesthetic beauty, or do I sell her and use the money buy more lovely things or pay bills or put it in savings or something?  
  • I know silver is selling high now, but just exactly how does one find an honest and reputable silver dealer? 
  • Would she bring more as an antique trophy lamp, or as scrap silver? 
  • She's a little dented, but that's part of her charm. She has a weighted base (as happens to many of us over time), so how does one weigh the silver alone? 
  • Would she be destroyed in the process of ascertaining her value? 
  • What if I decided I wanted her as a lamp after learning her silver was only worth the price of a regular lamp at a big box store?
I have lots of questions and would appreciate feedback from anyone who has had any similar items. What did you do with your sterling trophy lamps?

Word for the Day:

Proverbs 2:1-5

1 My son, if you accept my words 
   and store up my commands within you, 
2 turning your ear to wisdom 
   and applying your heart to understanding— 
3 indeed, if you call out for insight 
   and cry aloud for understanding, 
4 and if you look for it as for silver 
   and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD 
   and find the knowledge of God. 


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