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The TV Lamp Collectors Blog » Blog Archive » Auction Jargon: What Constitutes “Rare”?

Auction Jargon: What Constitutes “Rare”?


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Leland Claes Tigers TV LampA member of the TV Lamp Forum posed an interesting question: what does an eBay seller mean when they call a lamp rare? The cynic in me knows the answer: It means they want you to bid. While eBay discourages inappropriate claims, a term as nebulous as “rare” is hard to control. Actually, it could be argued that all TV lamps can be said to be rare. But does it matter? Rarity can be a huge plus if the lamp in question is also desirable. On the other hand, dozens of TV lamps are extremely uncommon, yet they get no respect in the marketplace. For a lamp to be truly cherished by collectors it first needs to be a terrific lamp in terms of appearance, and preferably from a designer and/or manufacturer that is popular with collectors. If those criteria are met, then rarity only fuels the fire for a frenzied bidding war.

A good example is the “tiger and cub” TV lamp designed by Leland Claes. His lamps have shot up in value over the past few of years, all of them. Add to that the beautiful design/glaze of these tigers, and the true rarity (I only know of two)… you get the idea. Rarity is a bonus, but only within the right context. So the moral of this story is, never trust the advertising. The buyer, of anything, needs to have done their homework. Armed with a reasonable knowledge of TV lamps and their desirability and rarity will keep you from falling for false claims.

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