Mintons "Cloisonné Porcelain" Pair of Vases, ca. 1880
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $7,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:41)
Decorative Arts, Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Vice President of Special Collections
GUEST: They belonged to my husband's mother. His stepfather was an antique dealer in California.
APPRAISER: These probably graced a really fancy mantelpiece at one time and that's all they're intended for; they're not in any way functional. They're designed to be decorative visors and covers designed to sit on a mantelpiece, and they're perfectly shaped for that, nice and flat. Now, they are marked on the bottom. We're not going to look at the mark, but it's there. It's a little orb with a crown on the top and in the middle it says "Mintons."
APPRAISER: Now, Minton is a great name. It's a company that still exists, by the way, under that name. But when you see the word "Mintons," it means it was made probably in the late 19th century-- after 1872-- when they stopped putting an "S" on the end of the word Minton. And these date right from that period. These were probably made about 1880 to 1885. Mintons were probably the best quality manufacturer in England of porcelain at the time. We call this cloisonné porcelain, because it's designed to look like Chinese cloisonné, at least part of it, with this colorful background here and with this delightful Chinese-style imagery-- kind of outlined in gilt, making it look like Chinese cloisonné enamel, which has a metal lining here. But these are really virtuoso examples of Minton and English porcelain at the time and they've got everything. They've got their covers, which come off. They've got these separate gilded bases. They're in generally really nice condition. They've got a great shape, what we call a moon-flask shape. Very Chinese, but at the same time very Victorian. You know, cloisonné Minton today is probably more valuable than it's ever been. And Minton in general is such a big name. If these were to come on the auction market today, I would expect them to bring at least $4,000 and perhaps as much as even $6,000 or $7,000 for the pair.
GUEST: That's nice.
APPRAISER: Yeah, they're really nice.
GUEST: For both of them?
APPRAISER: For the pair, right.
APPRAISER: By the way, you told me earlier you had two. You don't have two, you have a pair.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: Always better. Always better to have a pair.
APPRAISER: Pairs started out life together. There's a little chip on this one and a little crack. That really makes very little difference. If it wasn't there, though, it might be another $500, because then it would be absolutely mint. You could fix that for probably $150, $200, and it's probably worth it.
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