Jean Pouyat Limoges Vase, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $2,500
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:10)
Pottery & Porcelain
David Lackey Antiques & Art
GUEST: I bought it about 30 years ago at an antique show in Nebraska and I paid $300 for it, which was a lot of money at the time.
APPRAISER: Oh, yeah.
GUEST: But I bought it because I loved it. I just loved the figures on it.
APPRAISER: Well, what did they tell you about it when you bought it?
GUEST: Really didn't tell me anything about it at all. The dealer didn't know anything about it, really, and I did a little research. I think it's Limoges.
GUEST: I think the "JP" stands for a French name that I don't want to even try to pronounce. That's really all I know.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, let's take a look at it. Let's look at the mark first on the bottom. On the bottom, we've got this underglaze printed mark and it says "JP" over the letter "L," and it says "France." You're correct: it is Limoges. The "L" stands for "Limoges." "JP" stands for "J. Pouyat," which is P-O-U-Y-A-T. So the vase was made in Limoges, France. It was not painted in France at all.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Most of the Limoges companies, which included Haviland and others, they mostly did transfer-decorated decoration, a little bit of hand painting, but not much. But they all did a big business in shipping over to the United States plain white china, which was then purchased by either a professional decorating studio or by an amateur china painter who then hand-painted it. This is hand-painted completely, and so it would've been done here in the United States. What's really great about this vase is, besides the wonderful size and the great quality of the decoration, is that it's nude women, which was quite racy at that point, very racy. I don't think that this was done at a professional decorating studio. One of the most famous of those is Pickard, which was in Chicago. It's not signed anywhere, but I suspect that it was a highly skilled, amateur china painter who probably eventually turned somewhat professional.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: These are standard nudes that I occasionally see on other vases done by other companies. So there were china painting classes, there were china painting magazines, there was mail order how-to kits, there were how-to books, and so this was a pattern that was probably in a book somewhere and someone hand-painted it. However, the quality of these paintings is some of the best that I've ever seen. I mean, if you just look at the quality of her facial features, her hair and the proportion of the body, the stars, the moon-- I mean, just a wonderful, exotic, suggestive scene of a goddess or something like that.
GUEST: This is my favorite panel.
APPRAISER: This up here is hand-painted. All the little beads were done by hand by the artist.
GUEST: Oh, really.
APPRAISER: And then they had a special paint where they would paint on this blue luster wash to give it that effect. The value of hand-painted porcelain is based upon the quality of it, how big it is, the decoration, the colors they used. Obviously figures were much harder to do, so this is a talented artist. We believe that this particular vase, because it's so big and so well painted with the addition of the nudes, at an antique show or in a shop would probably sell for somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500.
GUEST: Oh, great.
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