Four pieces of Tiffany silver and antique armor and weapons outshone themselves at a recent Pennsylvania auction, where each brought much higher than anticipated prices.
A pair of sterling candelabra by Tiffany from approximately 1882 had been estimated to bring $60,00 to $80,000 and sold for a bid of $111,600. At the same auction by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa., a pair of Tiffany silver bowls sold for more than double their estimated value of $60,000 when they went to a high bidder for $134,000.
"It all comes down to consumer confidence that the best of the best items, whether it is Tiffany or guns or coins, is going to hold its value," said Dan Morph, CEO of Morphy Auctions. "They believe the market in collectibles is strong and they would rather put their money into something tangible rather than a stock or fund.
"I find a lot more people are leaning towards collectibles as a way to have something to show for their money," Morphy said.
"We knew the silver was special and of fantastic quality," he added. "There was tremendous interest both before and during the auction."
At the same auction, an antique armor collection of Hollywood animator and film director Frank Andrina was offered. A circa-1580 German two-handed sword exceeded expectations and brought $21,600, while a circa-16th century mace constructed entirely of hand-forged steel doubled expectations at $16,800.
"Armor is very much a European-based collectible. We were anxious to show that we could tap into the international market," Morphy said. "As it turned out, many bidders were European."
The auction also offered an early to mid-19th century Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle that sold for $76,800 and a powder horn from the French and Indian War estimated at $400 to $800 was bought for $21,600.