Weller Dickens Ware Skull Humidor
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $3,000 (1999)
$1,500 - $2,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (1:54)
Paintings & Drawings, Pottery & Porcelain
Humler & Nolan
APPRAISER: Rob, you've brought us a very scary and interesting piece of Weller pottery-- Weller being one of the many art potteries that operated in the Zanesville, Ohio, area about 30 miles east of here. And you actually have an interesting history being, I guess, a member of the Weller family going back many years.
GUEST: Right, my great-grandfather was a second cousin of Sam Weller, who started the pottery. He's collected Weller pottery for about 30 years. And he went to an estate sale about 20 years ago and purchased this piece of Dickensware for $85.
APPRAISER: What would be the function of it?
GUEST: Well, whoever owned it stored their smoking tobacco in it.
APPRAISER: You think this could be a commentary on not smoking?
GUEST: That would be a good commentary, I think.
APPRAISER: He is a very scary fellow. Just to show people, besides being a skull, he actually has a small skull as the finial on the top. We can see the marking, very simple. It says "Dickens Weller," and you can see the opening in the top where you could put a sponge to keep the tobacco moist. This one happens to be the rarest of all the humidors. From what I understand, there might be only five or six of these known to exist. And because of the great rarity, not to mention the scariness of it, I would say that this piece would probably sell in the $2,000 to $3,000 range today.
GUEST: You're kidding.
APPRAISER: He is quite interesting and extremely rare. I don't think I'd want to meet him in a dark alley. (laughing)
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.