Pair of Paris Porcelain Vases, ca. 1860
Appraised Value: $1,200 - $1,500
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:15)
Decorative Arts, Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Vice President of Special Collections
GUEST: They came from my father's family, and I'm not 100% sure where they came from. Now, somebody wrote a note about them here that I'd like to start by showing. My grandma wrote that. And she must have done some research on it to try to find out what they are.
APPRAISER: She wrote here that these are "Rare," they're "Worcester," they're in "scale blue," she says, and she puts the dates there of the Dr. Wall Period of Worcester. A lot of the things that we see at Antiques Roadshow come with little notes attached. Or sometimes information is actually written on the porcelain. And this can be a good thing to do, to put a little note inside something once you've had it correctly identified. But unfortunately, a lot of the times the information on the note is not accurate. And I think what your grandmother did, she saw something at Marshall Fields Department Store. If this was done in, let's say, the 1930s, at that time, Marshall Fields had a fabulous antiques department, great authentic things, mostly imported from Europe, and she would have seen a First Period Worcester, a vase or something that looked like this, but she's unfortunately misidentified it.
APPRAISER: The first period of the Worcester Porcelain Company, which still exists, by the way, it's called Royal Worcester today, was referred to as the "Dr. Wall Period." We kind of stopped using that term because it's not quite accurate. Dr. John Wall was there, but the First Period as we can define it is a little different in dates from his own period of activity. So that's slightly incorrect, but much more important, the whole thing is really incorrect.
APPRAISER: She saw a pair of vases or something in what's called the "Scale Blue," which in First Period Worcester has this deep cobalt-blue color that you can see in the background with a kind of scale pattern on it like a fish scale.
GUEST: That's what I wondered.
APPRAISER: Very subtly, yeah. The style of it, too, is not quite Worcester. Worcester did make vases of more or less this shape with panels painted in the center. But the handles are quite wrong and what it's made of. First Period Worcester is made of a kind of porcelain that we call "soft paste" porcelain. This is "hard paste" porcelain which is very sort of glassy-like, very white and shiny. So that is enough to tell us
APPRAISER: it's not First Period Worcester. But in any event, what we've got are a pair of nice quality vases. What we call today "Paris Porcelain," what was sometimes called "Old Paris Porcelain," and they represent Old Paris Porcelain very well, actually. They're a really nice quality pair. Probably made in the middle of the 19th century, 1850-60, something like that. They're in good condition. They're also really nicely painted. but they're not, I'm afraid, anything of this.
APPRAISER: In terms of value, as a pair of Paris vases, I would say in a good antique shop today, they'd be priced at at least $1,200 and maybe $1,500
GUEST: Okay. Okay.
APPRAISER: for the pair. If they were Worcester of the First Period, they could be $7,000 to $8,000, something like that or more. But they are great vases in their own right.
APPRAISER: But I thank you very much for coming today.
GUEST: Thank you.
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.