Weller Coppertone Vase, ca. 1925
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,000 (2002)
$2,000 - $3,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:27)
Pottery & Porcelain
Rago Arts & Auction Center
GUEST: Well, my mother-in-law was walking out to the pear orchard, and we went through the barn lot and I saw the frog's head sticking up out of the ground.
APPRAISER: You said you were pregnant at the time?
GUEST: Big pregnant. With my third child.
APPRAISER: This was how long ago?
GUEST: 50 years ago.
APPRAISER: So you saw the frog's head sticking out of the dirt?
GUEST: Yes. We walked right by and it didn't move, so I just swished my foot across it and it still didn't move. And I told my mother-in-law that I was going to go back to the barn and get a shovel and dig down and see what this is. So I got it and I dug it up, and there was not one blemish on it. Not a crack, chip or anything. So that's how I found this vase.
APPRAISER: And in 50 years, there still isn't a blemish on it.
GUEST: Yeah, it's true, and four children and all those grandchildren you asked me about.
APPRAISER: Now, you have no idea who made this?
GUEST: No idea whatsoever.
APPRAISER: Well, there's a good reason for that, because there is a mark on the bottom, but it's kind of blurry. And I've seen the mark before, so I know what it is. It says "Weller Pottery," and that's a kiln-- what they fire pottery in. So that's from the Weller Pottery from Zanesville, Ohio, one of the more famous companies. This is a production piece. It's not a one-of-a-kind artist piece. They made a number of these, sometime around 1925, 1930. It's called their Coppertone line, but it's a particularly good piece of their Coppertone line. And the last one I sold, I sold for $2,800. And I think this is a $2,500 piece and could bring as much as $3,000-- right in that price range-- at auction.
GUEST: Oh, my...
APPRAISER: So it's a really, really good production piece.
GUEST: Well, golly. Who would have ever thought that you'd dig something like this up and it'd be worth that much?
APPRAISER: It needs a cleaning; I'll let you in on a secret.
GUEST: It needs a cleaning. Yeah. Well, how do you do that?
APPRAISER: I would use Soft Scrub and a nylon scouring pad. But there's a lot of dirt on there. These colors will be a lot brighter after you clean it.
GUEST: Well, I've washed it many times, but I didn't use anything like that on it.
APPRAISER: Considering how well you've kept it all these years, maybe you should leave it alone, so it's fine.
GUEST: Oh, well, no, I'll clean it up, I'm sure, when I get home to see what I've missed.
APPRAISER: You said you spoke to your son, the one you were carrying when you found this. Yeah, and he said, "Well, she should leave it to me, because I was with her when she found it."
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