Two Charles Clewell Vases, ca. 1925
Appraised Value: $7,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:23)
Pottery & Porcelain
Rago Arts & Auction Center
APPRAISER: This is the first time we've had examples of Clewell pottery on the show.
GUEST: Oh, yeah?
APPRAISER: These are two beautiful examples. Your daughter found these?
GUEST: Yes, she bought them at an estate auction about 15 years ago. I believe she paid... I'm going to say in the neighborhood of $300, $325 apiece for them.
APPRAISER: Charles Clewell was making his metal-clad pottery from about 1903 till about 1950, and he was influenced by a piece he saw that J.P. Morgan had had that was unearthed outside of Rome in the late 19th century. It was an early Roman piece. And what he did was he covered his pieces with a metal coating, and then he would patinate them and freeze the patination process so these colors would be fixed. He was from Canton, Ohio, and he bought blanks from, like, the Weller Pottery and Roseville and Owens and Knowles, Taylor & Knowles. A curious thing about Clewell is when he died, he instructed his heirs to burn his formula so that it couldn't be replicated, and so the process is now lost. There are a number of them out there-- he made pottery for many years-- but very seldom do you see pieces that, number one, are this large. Number two, I've never seen a matched pair this large, and I've seen hundreds of pieces of Clewell. Number three, the color combination is really good; you have that really nice rust color mixing with that verdigris green. And on top of that, in spite of what they say, that the colors are fixed, if people try and scrub them, they can clean the colors off. So very often you see Clewell pieces where the colors are shredded, and these are nice and bright and crisp. They're also very clearly marked. Typical Clewell mark incised into the bottom-- or actually more like etched into the bottom-- with production numbers. And there's just nothing wrong with these; they're absolutely perfect.
GUEST: If you cleaned them, what would you use to clean them up with?
APPRAISER: I would probably just use a slightly damp cloth and leave it at that, because the surface is a little more fragile than we've been led to believe. In terms of value, I've not seen a matched pair, but I think individually they have to be worth at least $3,000 to $4,000 apiece. A matched pair might bring $7,000 to $8,000.
GUEST: You said $7,000 to $8,000?
APPRAISER: Yeah, for the pair.
GUEST: For the pair?
APPRAISER: And it wouldn't surprise me if they brought more, because to find a pair like this so perfectly matched would be very difficult.
GUEST: My word. We had no idea they was worth anything like that. We... Goodness.
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