Imperial Russian Plates, ca. 1860
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $3,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (10:00)
Decorative Arts, Glass, Pottery & Porcelain, Silver
Vice President of Special Collections
APPRAISER: Where did you find these?
GUEST: In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at an estate sale. It was a large estate sale for an antique dealer and this was from his private collection when he retired.
APPRAISER: Did you know the antiques dealer?
GUEST: Yes, I did know him.
APPRAISER: Okay, is he the kind of guy who traveled a lot?
GUEST: He traveled around the world. And when we went to Europe a couple of times, he would always tell us where to go and where to shop and how to ship things home.
APPRAISER: Did you know what they are when they came from the auction? Did you have any idea?
GUEST: No, not really. I just knew that he said that they were possibly attributed to the czar Alexander and that they were Russian plates. And that's all I knew. I just like the color.
APPRAISER: Well, they have the mark of the Russian imperial porcelain factory in St. Petersburg. This was a factory that was founded in the 18th century by the daughter of Peter the Great, and they made all the fabulous porcelain, most of it, for the Russian royal families. This one you can see an imperial "A" there, and underneath it there are two little lines indicating the second, so this is from the period of Alexander II. But if we turn it over, the device on the front... this is the imperial crown. And the "A" doesn't have a "II" underneath it, so this is the symbol of Alexander I. And what we have here is a pair of plates made as replacements for an earlier porcelain service.
APPRAISER: Alexander I and the czars entertained in a big way. I'm sure. Some of the porcelain services would be for over a thousand people, and things did get broken. So, later on they'd replace them. And Alexander II comes to power in 1855 when his father died. And he continues as czar until he's assassinated, ultimately, in 1881. So we can date these quite closely into the period of his reign. They were probably made in the late 1860s. But here they are showing the imperial crown on this what we call mauve background. Now, when you bought them, how much did you pay for them in that auction?
GUEST: I think about $250.
APPRAISER: And was there a pair of them when you...
GUEST: There were six of them. I have six of them.
APPRAISER: Oh, that's fabulous. And they're all in good condition like this?
GUEST: Yes, they all look the same. I have them hanging on my dining room wall.
APPRAISER: How long ago did you buy them?
GUEST: I think it was in the early '80s.
APPRAISER: Okay. Well, Russian porcelain is one of those things that have really done well in the last two or three decades. Today, if the pair came up at auction, they would be estimated for at least between $2,000 and $3,000.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Yeah. And a set of six, if they're all in good condition like these are, we may be looking at at least $6,000 to $8,000 and maybe $7,000 to $9,000.
GUEST: Oh, really? Well, I am shocked.
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