Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Samson Porcelain Pitcher, ca. 1850

    Appraised Value:

    $300 - $500 (2012)

    Appraised on: July 14, 2012

    Appraised in: Rapid City, South Dakota

    Appraised by: Matthew Quinn

    Category: Pottery & Porcelain

    Episode Info: Rapid City (#1713)

    Originally Aired: April 22, 2013

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Pitcher
    Material: Porcelain
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $300 - $500 (2012)

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (2:57)


    Appraised By:

    Matthew Quinn
    Decorative Arts, Pottery & Porcelain

    Quinn's Auction Galleries

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My father collected these Dr. Wall Worcester. He collected them over many years in the '40s and '50s and probably into the early '60s. He lived in New York City at the time. It was really one of his passions.

    APPRAISER: So, do you have more of them?

    GUEST: There were 35 or 40. My father died almost 30 years ago, and about ten years ago, my mother moved from New York, and one of the provisions my mother said was that each one of us should be able to pick a piece out.

    APPRAISER: Why did you pick this one?

    GUEST: I really like it.

    APPRAISER: Why do you think it's Dr. Wall?

    GUEST: Because that's what I was told it was.

    APPRAISER: Three or four of us were looking at it at the table and it's a beautiful piece. Let's take a quick look to the bottom, and we have the classic Worcester seal mark. Now there are some other numbers here. Typically, those would be inventory numbers, not necessarily relevant to the piece. Now, I have to tell you, we spent some time on it, and we really like the piece. But we don't think it's Dr. Wall.

    GUEST: You don't.

    APPRAISER: We do not. In fact, we know it's not Dr. Wall.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: It does have the Royal Worcester mark, it has all the callings of a Royal Worcester piece. And like I said, there were three of us on it, looking at it, feeling, "What's wrong with it? What's not right about it?" And began to ask some questions. The first thing is that it's made of a hard-paste porcelain. And the early first period Worcester, which is typically what it's referred to today. You know, Dr. Wall started the Worcester factory in 1751. And it was the first period-- or the Dr. Wall period, as you refer to it-- ended in 1783. Okay, so that would be the era that we're looking at. And all of that work was done in soft paste. This is a hard paste piece. The craftsmanship is fantastic. But we get up into the face here, and it's not quite what we would expect. There's a company called the Samson Porcelain Factory in Paris and are known as the great copyists.

    GUEST: (laughs)

    APPRAISER: The great forgers, if you will. And they were producing pieces all throughout...the German copies, the Meissen copies, the Dresden copies. The only person that could have done this was Samson. It is a great piece, the work is fantastic. A little heavier than we would expect it to be, and we also see very close along this edge an unfinished ring. That was also a bit of a surprise for us. So those are some of the things that keyed us off. We've also done a little bit more research and have found the exact form listed as a Samson piece. When he was buying and collecting in the '40s and '50s, nobody would have known. It's really the work that we've done in the last 20 years that has brought some of this to light and helped us understand what we were looking at. An auction estimate might be $300 to $500. Had it been first period Worcester, would have expected it to be somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500.

    GUEST: Okay, well, I guess that's why one comes to find that kind of thing out.

    APPRAISER: And it's a great piece. Just not first period Worcester.

    GUEST: Just not quite what it is, yeah. Okay.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 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.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube