Amphora Porcelain Works Art Nouveau Vase
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:26)
Pottery & Porcelain
Senior Vice President & International Specialist Head, European Ceramics and Glass
GUEST: This belonged to a friend of ours who collected antiques, and I had always admired it. When he died, he left it to me. I believe he said he bought it in New Orleans.
APPRAISER: Well, this is a piece that does come from Europe. It was made in a town that is called Turn-Teplitz and the name of the manufacturer is the Amphora Porcelain Works. Now, this is a company that went into business in the late 19th century, around 1896, and had different partners. And as the different partners came in and out of the business, the name would change a little, but it was always referred to as Amphora Porcelain. The piece dates probably to around 1910, 1915, and is in what is referred to as the Art Nouveau style. Now, this is a style of decoration that became very popular in the late 19th, early 20th century. It relied on natural forms and movement. In Germany and Austria, it was referred to as Jugendstil, which basically means "the new, young style." And as you can see, it's a natural form. It almost looks like a giant onion in shape, and it has molded on the surface these water lilies, the pads of which are in very, very high relief. And at the mouth of the vase, you have pierced decoration. The bats that are hanging-- and they're nibbling on fruits that come up through the stem-- and then in shallow relief, molded on the neck of the vase, you have those same bats. And this bizarre combination of water lilies and bats, that really echoes the shape of the vase and then flows over is very typical Art Nouveau, as is the fact that nothing is really a straight line. You can see how the stems trail around the side of the vase. Now, the vase is marked. And it's the word "Amphora" impressed into the side of it with a number underneath. I believe the number reads 668. What that number is is a model number, and it will be found on whatever vases were produced by Amphora of this shape. One of the things that struck me about this is the condition, which is very good. I think there's one repair, where a stem has been snapped here and here, and it's the original stem glued back in, so that should not affect its value too much. Normally, an Amphora vase sells at auction for less than $1,000, sometimes up to around $1,500, but this piece is such a great example, if it were to come for sale at auction, you'd be looking at a selling price more between $3,000 and $5,000, maybe even as much as $6,000, just because it's such a great example.
GUEST: That was about what my husband had guessed. He's not as conservative as I am. I thought maybe $700 or $800.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.