Lanier Meaders Face Jug, ca. 1975
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,500 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:07)
Folk Art, Furniture
Allan Katz Americana
GUEST: I was a college student and I went to the Folk Life Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., on the Mall. I went into a tent and this was there and I fell in love with it. And there was a man that was there and I told him I was a college student and I didn't have
a lot of money, so I said I... he said, "Do you like anything?" I said, "I'd like that." He said, "I tell you what. How much do you have?" I had about $30 and so he let me have it for $30.
APPRAISER: I love it. So how many years ago was that, approximately?
APPRAISER: 30 years ago. When you walked in with this face jug as they call it, I recognized that it's possibly a piece that was made by the Meaders family. I recognized it by the glaze, which is called a tobacco-spit glaze. And you can just picture it. It looks like dripping tobacco juice that someone might have spit on it. When we turn it over, we now see the signature,and the signature is that of Lanier Meaders and he was born in 1917, and he was the second son of Georgia potters Cheever and Arie Meaders. They became very famous in Georgia, and famous enough that in the 1960s, the Smithsonian traveled there to do a film on Cheever and Arie's work.
GUEST: I didn't know that.
APPRAISER: Cheever was ill at the time, and actually Lanier stepped in on film, which you can probably find...
APPRAISER:...to actually do the demonstration of how the family made pottery.
APPRAISER: Cheever died in 1967.
GUEST: Lanier stepped in and took over, with his mother, the pottery and produced this in some very good numbers. But they were very famous, very well-known. The Library of Congress honored them in the 1970s.
GUEST: Oh, I didn't know...
APPRAISER: So they actually had a very, very... high regard in the field of American folk pottery.
GUEST: I have to tell you this. My sisters never liked it because of the face. I love it because of the face. So every time they would come to my house, they would turn the face to the wall.
APPRAISER: It's interesting that you say that, because sometimes the other name for the pottery is "grotesque face" pottery. (laughing) So some of them are actually quite distorted and scary. I think this is wonderful. It's very dignified and he was just a master potter.
The shape of it is so uniform and perfect. He died in 1998.
APPRAISER: Didn't have any children. The family continues in the fact there are relatives and siblings that continue the Meaders' name, but Lanier Meaders is the name that you want to see on a piece of pottery from this time period. Now, you said you paid $30 for it.
APPRAISER: The market has heated up on these pieces. Very desirable. Value in today's market-- somewhere in the... $1,500 to $2,500 range.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. I had no idea.
APPRAISER: Isn't that nice?
GUEST: I love it. Thank you so much.
APPRAISER: Well, thank you for bringing it to Antiques Roadshow.
GUEST: Thank you. I had no idea.
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