Weller Dickensware II Vase, ca. 1905
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:22)
Pottery & Porcelain
Rago Arts & Auction Center
GUEST: My husband and I cleaned out his aunt and grandmother's little Victorian house in Frankfort, Indiana, five years ago, and this was just one of many pieces that we found, and I thought it was particularly charming because it has a golfer, lady golfer at that.
APPRAISER: And you know it's a piece of Weller pottery?
GUEST: Yes, I do.
APPRAISER: Samuel Weller was in business in the 1880s, and as most American potters at that time, they were making drainpipes and utilitarian pieces. But around 1900, when the art pottery and Arts and Crafts movement were sweeping the country, they started making decorative ware, and that's what you have. You have a piece of Weller... It's called Dickensware. And it's called Dickensware because in Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens named one of his characters Samuel Weller.
APPRAISER: So Samuel Weller named one of his pottery lines Dickensware. And originally, Dickensware was an underglazed painted line with flowers primarily, sometimes portraits, but mostly flowers. But Dickensware II, or "Dickens II"-- as we in the trade call it-- was like this type, which is sgraffito. And you can see here that the design is outlined with a sharp tool
APPRAISER: that reveals the clay underneath, and that technique is called sgraffito, typical on these airbrushed bisque-glaze backgrounds. This is the company mark, which says "Dickensware," "Weller" underneath it and some production marks. What's also interesting, though, is the subject matter. They made a lot of things. They made monks and Indians and animals and scenes, but they did several pieces or a number of pieces with golfers, usually men golfers on them.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Most people who buy Weller pottery and Roseville and other potteries from Ohio and from that area buy them because they're pottery collectors. But once in a while you get what we call a crossover collector, and by and large, the best buyers of this sort of ware are people who buy golf memorabilia.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: And so a piece of Dickensware this size, normally, let's say it has a monk on the surface. At auction it might bring $500 to $700. If it had a portrait of a male golfer on it, at auction it'd bring about a thousand to $1,500. Conservatively, at auction, because of the female golfer, it'd be worth about $1,500 to $2,000, so... (laughing)
GUEST: Uh! My husband will be thrilled.
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