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What’s In Your Attic?

the treasure
Silver-plated Sabbath candelabra

the story
This was brought to the U.S. by my parents after World War II. I believe they purchased it in Austria. I know it’s silver because my mother used to polish it all the time. It comes apart so that all the pieces can be polished. It has tremendous sentimental value, although I don’t use it because I don’t want to scratch the surface by trying to remove melted wax. I think the three prongs are unique, as more contemporary Sabbath candlesticks have only two.

what the professionals say
There is wear to the surface plating, suggesting its age and considerable use consistent with Judaic traditions. Its condition will limit its appeal even if offered in a retail consignment shop selling other Judaica. The market for Judaica is very targeted, and collectors from around the world are quite competitive for objects of great religious and cultural significance, as well as ceremonial and decorative items of silver, Jewish books and manuscripts, and other valuable materials.

Given the religious significance and function of this candelabra, it will have greater sentimental value than intrinsic material value. So many people have various well-loved serving pieces and table articles that are silver plate, but unfortunately, these are not in high demand compared to their sterling silver counterparts. Consequently, there is little resulting resale value.

This month’s experts | Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, headquartered in Chicago with appraisal and auction services in Clayton.