Pilkington, Royal Lancastrian Urn, ca. 1908
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:10)
Books & Manuscripts, Decorative Arts, Furniture, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
GUEST: This was given to me by my mother on one of my birthdays. And it was a vase that she had inherited from her father. And she remembers it as a little girl, and I loved her story. And she, I think, realized how much I admired it, and that's why she gave it to me on my birthday.
APPRAISER: Nice birthday.
GUEST: I think so, too.
APPRAISER: And what did you guys call it?
GUEST: My mom referred to it as a ginger jar.
APPRAISER: The ginger jar. Well, it's an urn. And it is done in a technique that's called the lusterware technique. Are you familiar with that?
GUEST: I've heard of it.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, lusterware is a Hispano-Moresque technique that was in vogue in the Middle East for many, many years, for hundreds of years. And the Industrial Revolution did what it did in terms of making pottery production in the 19th century real strong. And around the turn of the century, what happens is, is that they begin to concentrate more on quality and artistry. And here we have an urn from the firm of Pilkington. And it's called a Royal Lancastrian urn. And it is a line of pottery that combine two of probably the better minds at Pilkington. They had a gentleman by the name of William Burton, who experimented in these glazes. He discovered in about, around 1904, 1905, how to make this particular glaze. And in order to make this really work, they employed some of the best craftsmen and the best designers of the early 20th century. And as we look at the bottom of this, we can see both the Pilkington mark, which is obscured right about here, and this little initial right down here. Now, that stands for Richard Joyce. It's actually an incorporation between "R" and "J."
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: He was a very, very highly talented craftsman who did the painting for this particular urn.
APPRAISER: And it was done probably around 1905 to 1908. And it is a gorgeous composition. It embodies the absolute best of the English Arts and Crafts movement. Now, this is English, and it is from Manchester, so it's from Lancashire County. And if you go all the way around this, you have leaping deer, you have flowering trees, you have foxes. And down at the bottom here, you've got this little creeping bear here, but actually, my favorite on the whole piece is that leopard right there.
GUEST: The leopard, yeah, on the top. Isn't it... I love it, too.
APPRAISER: He was heavily influenced by Japanese styles. In this, you see a great blending of Eastern and Western technique and culture and artistry that just makes this an absolutely spectacular urn. This is the inevitable question: What do you think it's worth?
GUEST: Well, now you're making me think it's worth a lot. And I've... to me, of course, it's priceless.
APPRAISER: Yes. If it were in one of my auctions, I would place an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000 on it.
APPRAISER: So it is a tremendous work of art.
GUEST: I think so. Oh, I didn't know it was worth that much, but that's amazing.
APPRAISER: Thanks, Grandpa.
GUEST: I know, Papa, thank you. (laughs)
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