Trash or Treasure: “Groovy” lamp dates to the 1960s

By Khristi Zimmeth
Special to The Detroit News

“All I know about it is that they were in my mom’s home when she passed away,” Konny Rodriguez told appraiser Joelle Del Rose about the two items she recently brought for appraisal to DuMouchelles in downtown Detroit, adding that her mom had lived in the same house since 1957. “Her second husband came from Italy. She passed away and now I have all this groovy stuff.” 

The items included an ornate parlor table and a tall glass lamp – both also Italian.  Del Rose identified the carved table with nude figures holding up garlands of fruit as an early 20th century Rococo-style table. “It was meant to go in a formal parlor,” she said of the stylized piece of furniture. “The top was made to look like more expensive marquetry, but to be honest I think it’s a decal.”

Konny Rodriguez with the table she bought in for appraisal .

The bad news is that the piece sustained some damage through the years. The good news is that tables are desirable and useful pieces of furniture with consistent demand. Because of this she valued it at $200 to $400 at auction. “I always encourage people to buy antique furniture because it’s made so much better made,” said the appraiser. “It’ll last so much longer than IKEA and isn’t like what everyone else has.”

Rodriguez also brought the lamp that once sat on the table. Del Rose identified it as a mid-century modern piece that dates to the 1960s. “It is Murano glass with metallic flecks,” she told her. “It’s also sometimes called Venetian glass.”

A small label/plaque on the lamp identifies as Murano, which is a location, not a particular manufacturer. “Glassmaking didn’t originate on the Venetian island of Murano, but its artisans certainly elevated it to an art form,” explained the home site in an article, “A Guide to the World’s Most Dazzling Venetian Glass.” “Murano became a bastion of glassmaking in 1291, when the Venetian Republic ordered its glassmakers to move their “furnaces,” or foundries to the island… Renaissance statesman Lorenzo de’ Medici and rock-and-roll statesman Elton John are among those who have collected Murano chandeliers, jewelry, vases, goblets and the like over the centuries.”

Konny Rodriguez with her lamp  at DuMochelles Gallery in downtown Detroit.

Luckily for Rodriguez, Murano pieces are still popular and mid-century pieces like her lamp are back in style. “People are looking for these monumental lamps again to complement their vintage 1950s interiors,” said the appraiser, who valued it at approximately $200 even without the original shade. “Murano has been famed for their glass for centuries,” Del Rose enthused.

Rodriguez likes the lamp more than the table. “I think I’ll keep the lamp, but will probably get rid of the table. It’s never been my style.”

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.     

About this item: 

 Item: Italian Rococo table and Murano lamp

Owned by: Konny Rodriguez

Appraised by: Joelle Del Rose, DuMouchelles

Estimated value: $200 to $400 and $100 to $200