Isaac Broome Tile Panel, ca. 1885
Appraised Value: $1,000 - $1,200 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:59)
GUEST: Well, my parents bought a home in '71 or '72, and it had an old garage and they tore it down. And my brother and I found it buried in the dirt under the frame of the garage. And we put it up in our tree fort for awhile, and then my dad found out we had it and took it.
APPRAISER: And what did you think it was?
GUEST: Some old-lady picture.
APPRAISER: It's a pretty special lady picture.
GUEST: Is it?
APPRAISER: It is. The original mold for a tile is done by a sculptor. The modeler, or the sculptor-- his name was Isaac Broome. He moved from abroad to the province of Quebec, and then he came down here to this country to the Trenton area to work for the Ott & Brewer Company; and he did many pieces for them, some beautiful pieces of Parian Ware. And he was so successful that some of his pieces won prizes at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. So there's something huge and gorgeous called the "Baseball Vase," which became so famous, and that was Isaac Broome.
APPRAISER: So he worked for Ott & Brewer, and he worked for several other companies in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area; and he became known as a tile modeler. And these tiles were done at the end of the 19th century when most of the tiles looked like this style-- very classical figures. So that was Isaac Broome's style, too. And Parthenia, which is her name here-- she was a goddess, she was a nymph, and a naiad. So she was one of the water goddesses. And he did very few of these.
GUEST: Oh, serious?
APPRAISER: All of them unsigned. But we do know that it is by Isaac Broome, because there is a signed copy in the Trenton Museum. Oh, wow. What's so special about her, as well-- many tiles being done at that time had these golden, amber glazes or green glazes; and she is in this lovely gray-blue, which is very rare and also something that we associate, at this point, with Isaac Broome's work. He was particularly fond of this color.
APPRAISER: These would have been made to set in a wall, perhaps over a fireplace; also in a half-wall, like a dado, and probably surrounded by planar tiles or just floral tiles. But she would have been the star of that panel.
APPRAISER: And this beautiful frame that you have, this lovely brass frame, was added later.
APPRAISER: It is crazed, like a lot of pieces at that time.
APPRAISER: That happens in the firing. It has a couple of little pockmarks here, but these are not bad. It's really in beautiful condition. For having found it... Buried in the dirt. I would probably put a price on it of about $1,000 to $1,200.
GUEST: Okay. Oh, very good.
APPRAISER: Yeah, it's a pretty... pretty good old-lady picture, huh?
GUEST: Pretty great old-lady picture indeed. Thank you.
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