Tiffany 'Cassini' sculpture bought at flea market brings 11,150% return



2015-06-26 13:03:46

Tiffany 'Cassini' sculpture bought at flea market brings 11,150% return

A Tiffany 'Cassini' sculpture, made by silversmith Ubaldo Vitali, has sold for $22,500

A rare Tiffany & Co sculpture bought at a Philadelphia flea market for $200 has sold at an auction in the city for $22,500.

Described by the auction house as a "beautiful abstract composition of swirling bands", the new price represents an 11,150% return on investment.

Tiffany Cassini sculpture The only one of the six Tiffany Cassini sculptures to have appeared at auction

It also made a mockery of its $5,000 high estimate at the American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts sale on November 13.

The price is the result of plenty of detective work, with the "UV" maker's mark that emerged after considerable scrubbing of the object revealing the piece to be the work of US silversmith Ubaldo Vitali (1944-).

Sculptor Charles O Perry (1929-2011) designed the item at the behest of Tiffany. Entitled Cassini, after the Italian astronomer who provided the inspiration for the piece, it is one of just six examples of the sculpture made for Tiffany, and the only such versionto have appeared on the market.

Larger, steel examples of the sculpture can be seen in East Moline, Illinois and the Civic Arts Complex in Ringwood, Australia.

Vitali sculptures tend to achieve between $1,500 and $3,000 at auction - the higher value of this work a testament to the collectability of the Tiffany name.

Indeed, Tiffany is rarely out of the headlines when it comes to the world's auctions. Earlier this year a Tiffany fancy blue diamond ring sold for $2.4m at Sotheby's, beating its estimate by 386%.

The current auction also featured further delights for Tiffany fans, with a late 19th or early 20th century stained glass table lamp selling for $8,125, while an early 20th century favrile aquamarine paperweight vaseachieved $26,250.

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