Grueby Tile Cuenca Seagull, ca. 1915
Appraised Value: $700 - $1,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:24)
GUEST: I got it at a house sale in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. It seems like it's Arts & Crafts, but I don't know from what side of the ocean, so... I know nothing about it.
APPRAISER: This tile was made by the Grueby Pottery from Boston, Massachusetts.
GUEST: Well, I've seen their vases.
APPRAISER: They were well known for their vases early on, and then they started making tiles.
GUEST: Well, why is it so thick?
APPRAISER: Because this doesn't look like it was meant to be in a wall, and the sides are finished. It is thick. A lot of Arts & Crafts tiles were thick.
APPRAISER: This is pressed from wet clay, and so they were done particularly thick. This is probably just about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch thick. The reason it is glazed all around is because it was probably used as a trivet. Originally, it was probably sold with some kind of green felt on the bottom, and then you could set it down like this and use it as a trivet. Looking at the surface of this tile, it doesn't look like it would have been used like that much at all, because it's in beautiful condition.
GUEST: That is considered beautiful condition?
APPRAISER: Yes, ma'am. It's a little dirty, but there's no wear, really, to the top. This particular tile is one of a series of at least four.
APPRAISER: It probably dates to about 1915 to 1920. The marking on the back, those are the initials of the artist that would have colored in the tile.
APPRAISER: And it is a cuenca tile, that is your technique. That's what keeps your beautiful flat colors separated. As I said, it's a little dirty.
GUEST: What is that?
GUEST: (laughing) I have more of that at home.
APPRAISER: Yeah, we all do. This will come off easily. It does have at the top here a little bit of wear, a little hairline, and that is not good. You bought this at a house sale?
APPRAISER: You paid...
GUEST: One dollar.
APPRAISER: At auction, I would put this tile at $700 to $1,000.
GUEST: Is that right?
GUEST: Oh, my gosh! So, this is very bad, because I'm trying not to do house sales anymore. I've been trying to get my addiction under control. No, that was great. That's absolutely wonderful.
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