Pennsylvania antique collector Paul Brown recently jumped on an opportunity to buy two windows from a Gothic Revival church for $6,000. Buying old windows isn’t usually a good business decision, but Brown’s investment could end up bringing him a lot of money. It was discovered that the windows he purchased were manufactured by Tiffany Studios and could be worth $250,000 each.
Tiffany Studios was founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany. The company is best known for its high-end glass lamps but also makes stained glass windows, mosaic installations, and various luxury items.
It turned out that Tiffany Studios were commissioned to make windows for St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church building in the early 20th century. But when a new owner purchased the church building, they were unaware of the origin of the windows and wanted to get rid of them while carrying out renovation works.
One of the people working on renovations sensed an opportunity to earn some money and gave Brown a call. The collector ended up paying $6K for windows, among other things, without knowing their actual value.
Brown ended up taking the windows out of their frame and brought them to the Philadelphia auction house Freeman’s for appraisal. Upon further inspection, the expert told him he had windows made by Tiffany Studios.
“From what I gathered, round windows were not common,” Brown told the New York Times about his decision to buy the windows. “I thought, for the unique size and colors, someone’s got to want them.”
The windows are now set to be offered at an auction, with each of them being estimated to fetch a price between $150,000 and $250,000.
According to Tim Andreadis, head of design at Freeman’s, these windows are extremely rare, and another won’t hit the market “in our lifetime.”
“To find another Tiffany rose, let alone two — it’s almost unheard of,” Andreadis added.