Appraisal Video: (3:20)
Decorative Arts, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Vice President & Director, Fine Ceramics & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts
GUEST: Well, I brought two pieces of Picasso, because I love Picasso. As a student of art in New York City, I've always admired his work. My husband and I were in the diplomatic corps. We lived in Italy. We had reason to travel, and I said, "Could we go to France? I want to go to Vallauris, where Picasso lives. I heard there's a little store there that sells ceramics." And so, we went. And it took us hours to get into the store because the town was closed for four hours. And finally, we went in, and they didn't have anything but Picasso plates. And I said, "No, no, I want the vases." So first she brought out this white one, and which I liked very much, but I said, "Where is the vase with Jacqueline's profile? His wife, Jacqueline?" She said, "Oh, we don't have them anymore." And I guess tears must have come to my eyes because I really wanted that one so badly. And she came out with this face and she said, "I had this in the storeroom, but we didn't sell it because it's not perfect on the handle." I said, "I'll take it anyway. I love it."
APPRAISER: So now, what year was that?
GUEST: This was in 1967.
APPRAISER: Well, now, Picasso wintered in Vallauris, and he developed this relationship with the Madura pottery. And they allowed him to experiment with designs. They used their expertise as well to come up with some of these unusual techniques.
GUEST: I didn't know all that.
APPRAISER: And the most salable examples are the examples that have people or animals on them. And guess what. Most of the pieces you brought in have these wonderful faces, and this particular jug... a beautiful animal under the spout.
GUEST: I love it.
APPRAISER: Look at her eyes. And this one here has these wonderful character faces on it. And, really, it has a tremendous amount of humor.
GUEST: Oh, yeah, I know it.
APPRAISER: I mean, look at the whimsical people. Now, he obviously didn't manufacture all of these, he designed them.
APPRAISER: Yes. And they were made in limited editions and up until about ten years ago, they weren't bringing in a lot of money.
APPRAISER: And in the last ten years, there's actually been a frenzy and they've been very, very desirable. He didn't start manufacturing designs for these until he was about 65.
GUEST: I know.
APPRAISER: And, uh, so it's interesting the latter part of his life that he would find this new ware that was initially looked at very commercially... I know because she told me that the Parisian women were making lamps out of this one.
APPRAISER: And they were very inexpensive, but certainly he was taking advantage of his name. Now, she said that the handle was a little bit off?
GUEST: Yeah, it's a little bit off.
APPRAISER: And because of that, the glaze was a little bit rough on this piece.
APPRAISER: And this piece today, how much would it bring?
GUEST: I had no idea.
APPRAISER: How about at auction, roughly $8,000 to $12,000?
GUEST: Oh, my God! That is really amazing.
APPRAISER: And this vase, about $10,000 to $15,000.
GUEST: Oh, my God! I would... but I'd never sell them, ever.
APPRAISER: Now, what did you pay for these?
GUEST: I paid $125 in American money, and then it was about $175 to $200, because my husband kept saying, "Are you sure you want that?" I said, "Yes, I do."