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    Royal Bonn Art Nouveau Vase, ca. 1900

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: August 7, 2010

    Appraised in: Des Moines, Iowa

    Appraised by: Suzanne Perrault

    Category: Pottery & Porcelain

    Episode Info: Des Moines, Hour 1 (#1507)

    Originally Aired: February 14, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Vase
    Material: Earthenware
    Period / Style: 19th Century, 18th Century, Art Nouveau
    Value Range: $1,000

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    Appraisal Video: (3:05)


    Appraised By:

    Suzanne Perrault
    Pottery & Porcelain

    Rago Arts & Auction Center

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This vase is from my grandmother. My grandmother was a cook for a wealthy lady in Minneapolis around the turn of the century, and her brother was the family chauffeur, and over time, this woman and my grandmother became very close, and this woman gave my grandmother a lot of beautiful things, and this was one of them. And I have to say that I have always called it "the world's ugliest vase" and it's been living in my basement for 30 years.

    APPRAISER: This vase is made by one of my favorite German companies.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: Called Royal Bonn. We see a lot of German pottery and porcelain when we do Antiques Roadshow, and we've been seeing a lot today here in Des Moines. And I think Royal Bonn does not get its due. Their wares are usually not high-fired porcelain, like a lot of the other German or Austrian makers. You can tell by the weight, and you can tell by the color. So it was less expensive to make something like this than to make porcelain. It's fired at a lower temperature. You could tell that it is white earthenware. So they were less expensive to make, less expensive to fire, but the decorations on a lot of the porcelain pieces were done by transfer, which is commercial and quick. And Royal Bonn is usually done by hand.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: And often you have these lovely ladies on it or beautiful sprays of flowers. You don't see high Art Nouveau like this. So you've been to this exhibition on Art Nouveau, so you would have an idea of the time period-- about 1900 or so, plus or minus. Royal Bonn was started in 1836 by a gentleman called Franz Anton Mehlem, and added the name "Royal" in 1890 and was eventually sold to the very large and important Villeroy & Boch in 1920. So let's look at the piece all around. It has these beautiful irises, very stylized flowers. Some incisions that have been glazed. We have a little chip here.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: This is also what happens when it is lower fired. It's a little more fragile. There are also some little chippies down here, nothing major. These would be fairly easy to restore. That chip over there may cost you $50, $75 to have fixed. As far as value goes, many, many pieces of Royal Bonn are just in the low hundreds, but this has such nice style to it, has a good shape, a good size, I would think that at auction it should be able to bring about a thousand dollars.

    GUEST: Wow. So I guess I'll take it out of the basement then. Well, thank you. I'm beginning to think a lot more highly of it now.

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