Appraisal Video: (2:51)
Pottery & Porcelain
Rago Arts & Auction Center
APPRAISER: So, you were given this vase by your aunt.
GUEST: Yes, uh, well, my great-aunt. She passed away in 1964 And I was about nine and I was there when the truck delivered all the belongings and for helping out, I could pick out an item and this is the item I chose. My mother felt that it was terribly ugly and it was easy to give up.
APPRAISER: Well, it's not for everybody, but you do know a few things about this piece.
GUEST: I do.
APPRAISER: What do you know about this?
GUEST: The date on the bottom is 1905. It's got a double A, for Artemis and Anna Van Briggle. I believe he had TB, and so he moved to Colorado Springs. I believe the factory is still working right now. But he died in 1904. The vase is 1905. Does it make a difference? I don't know. That's about all I know about the vase.
APPRAISER: Well, it's quite a bit, actually, and very accurate information. It's Artus, not Artemis. But aside from that, you're right on the money. And the factory still is in operation. The date does make a difference. Artus worked for the Rookwood Company in the 1880s and '90s. Left, as you said, because of ill health and went to Colorado Springs. The climate was thought to be beneficial for those with TB, or "consumption," as it was known at the time. And he was at his creative peak just before he died in 1904. But there's a misconception that once he died, the company stopped making good pieces.
APPRAISER: And, uh, they're mostly known for rather florid Art Nouveau pieces with embossed decorations,
APPRAISER: mostly flowers. And... pieces like this with these organic glazes are most unusual. I like to say they're academic pieces. They're not for the beginning collector, but they're for someone who has all the floral pieces and wants something a little more esoteric,
APPRAISER: a little more challenging, if you will, and this is a challenging piece. It's painted with matte glazes. Would have been overseen by his wife, Anna, who survived, of course, and ran the company till around 1912 when it was sold out to businessmen. And this is from that period, just over the hump, shortly after his death. So, while this is not the sort of Van Briggle that most people think about, even from this period, I was pretty happy to see this come in because you don't see these every day. Normally, pieces from this period without emboss decoration, it'd bring a few hundred dollars. I think because this one's as interesting as it is, if I was going to auction it, I would estimate it at between $1,500 and $2,000.
APPRAISER: So certainly better than most.
GUEST: Okay. I-I thought, was thinking around $300, so that's... I'm happy with that.
APPRAISER: One thing I do want to show you. On the reverse side, there is, um, a superficial scratch.
GUEST: Right, I saw that.
APPRAISER: Okay, that's from, that's from a ring or an enamel sink. And, uh, the way to remove that is to get one of those hard, white ink erasers
APPRAISER: and snap it so you have the rough interior and dab that with a little bit of water or spit, and that will erase off.
APPRAISER: And that'll just come right off. No problem.
GUEST: All right. Hey, thanks a lot.
APPRAISER: Okay. Great to see you.