Frederick Rhead Avon Jardiniere
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,000 (1998)
$3,000 - $4,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:02)
Pottery & Porcelain
Rago Arts & Auction Center
APPRAISER: I wanted to talk about your piece today because like anything we look at, it's culturally and historically significant. A very famous potter by the name of Frederick Rhead was imported from England, where he worked at the Wardle pottery company, and he brought with him a decorative technique called squeeze-bag decoration. The squeeze-bag technique is executed as though a baker were decorating a cake. A bag, a slip-trail bag would be filled with this slip and then the artist would squeeze it onto the surface of the pot and what it leaves is a fairly textured surface. It's not as flat as if it was just painted. The decoration going around the top of this pot is an example of Frederick Rhead's squeeze-bag decoration. Furthermore, the body of the pot is covered with a stylized landscape of incised and painted trees. Very typical of the type of work Rhead did later on at the Weller company and the Roseville company, where he did Della Robbia and the Homer Laughlin China Company, and he did, he...Frederick Rhead created Fiesta ware. This is a very important...
GUEST: Oh, he did? I didn't know that.
APPRAISER: …famous potter. One of the most significant figures in 20th-century American decorative ceramics. So this pot represents work done by the first company he went to when he came here from England, and we'll show our viewers the marks here on the bottom. This hand-incised mark underneath the pot is Avon pottery company from Wheeling, West Virginia, which started in 1902. But also incised in the bottom, right over here, is Frederick Rhead's...it's "F.H." It's Frederick Hurten Rhead. Why the R's not there, I'm not sure, but there was no one else who worked at the company who had those initials. It's hand-incised by the artist. You've got a very cool jardiniere by the Vance Avon pottery company designed and executed by Frederick Rhead.
GUEST: Oh, wonderful.
APPRAISER: About a one-in-a-thousand shot. This is a pretty special piece. Should be worth more than it is, but as it is, it's still worth about $2,500 to $3,000. It's quite a valuable piece.
GUEST: Thank you very much.
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