Chinese Export Pottery of Ch'ing Dynasty Official
Appraised Value: $40,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:28)
GUEST: My mother and father purchased it back in the early '60s from... an antique shop in Chinatown in Chicago.
APPRAISER: How much did they pay for it?
GUEST: 600 bucks.
APPRAISER: That was a hefty price in the 1960s.
GUEST: Yes, it was.
APPRAISER: I mean, what were they told at the time?
GUEST: That I couldn't tell you. The only thing that I... my folks had told me that it could have come from the Ming Dynasty era, and that's about all I know.
APPRAISER: It's not Ming Dynasty.
GUEST: It's not Ming Dynasty.
APPRAISER: And it's Chinese export, It was made specifically to sell to the West.
APPRAISER: It was made in South China, probably in Canton Province. These things were made in a factory kind of environment, produced in fairly large quantities, of which very, very few have survived.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: And it's pottery that's been cold-painted and it's a Ching Dynasty official.
APPRAISER: He's a top-ranking official. The plaque that's on the front-- and there's a reverse one
APPRAISER: on the back-- are rank badges, and he has a claim on that since he's a first- ranking official. The necklace that he's wearing is a court necklace, and then that cap appears to be made out of otter's fur. Part of the China trade was they would send us figures like this and we sold them otter pelts from the Northwest coast.
APPRAISER: The robe that's underneath here is a dragon robe, and that was an official honor to be given the robe.
APPRAISER: The robe would have been embroidered with dragons everywhere-- dragons and pearls all over. It dates probably to the very early part of the 19th century, maybe 1800 to about 1830. And you can tell that particularly because these figures, later on, get much, much less realistic. And originally, he would have had, on the back of the hat, a peacock feather.
APPRAISER: And it has a little bit of damage, but it can be repaired and it's not a particularly difficult repair to do. It doesn't much affect the price of the piece. I would think at auction, this piece should sell for around $40,000.
GUEST: Okay, cool.
APPRAISER: And wouldn't be surprised at all if it sold for more. That would be neat. And there were originally two of them, a male and a female figure.
APPRAISER: And at that, you don't even know what would happen in terms of price. It would skyrocket. They're exceptionally rare. I've never seen any of them outside museums.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 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.