Amphora Dragon Vase, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $7,000 - $9,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:19)
Paintings & Drawings, Pottery & Porcelain
Humler & Nolan
GUEST: My husband had two aunts that had enough money to purchase nice art. And one was not married and the other was married but had no children. So it managed to get through without the kids beating it up, I guess, but...
APPRAISER: A little bit.
GUEST: A little bit, it has some chips. I had an appraiser come to my house. He looked at it, and he said, "Oh, it's chipped, it's of no value." I didn't give up on it because I liked it, and my husband liked it. And I figured if it went through 112 years in his family, that maybe it was worth something, so...
APPRAISER: Okay, and what do you know about it?
GUEST: I was told by his mother that it was from the Paris Exposition in 1900. I don't know that they went there to get it, but...
APPRAISER: And you know where it was made, and you know the company name.
GUEST: It says it was Amphora-- is that how you pronounce it?-- and it was made in Austria.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, your instincts were good.
APPRAISER: Let's deal with the condition, first of all.
APPRAISER: There are pieces missing. You actually broke a little piece off coming in today.
GUEST: I did, I did do that.
APPRAISER: This is an extremely fragile piece.
GUEST: It is.
APPRAISER: And I could tell you that probably there are not a lot of these anywhere and probably every one that you would find would have some damage.
GUEST: I see.
APPRAISER: And it can be repaired. It would cost a few hundred dollars to get it back in tip-top shape.
GUEST: Oh, well, that's worth it.
APPRAISER: It does have an interesting mark. It says "Paris 1900" on the bottom. "Amphora, Austria, Turn." Turn-Teplitz is a region where a lot of this type of pottery was made. There were several companies there that generically referred to as Amphora, this one being one of the Stellmacher companies. The interesting thing about these is this is a cast piece. It's made out of porcelain. They're not unique pieces. Which is even more fascinating, because if you see a number of Amphora pieces, there's just such an array of everything from flowers, three-dimensional flowers, to dragons. This happens to be one of the rarest and one of the best.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: I think the mark about Paris 1900 indicates that this piece may have been introduced and shown in the 1900 World's Fair. I wouldn't swear that this was from that fair. But it's significant, it helps us date it. We know it's from around that period, maybe as late as 1905. In terms of value, even in its present condition, I think a price at auction would be $7,000 to $9,000.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh. Wow... whew.
APPRAISER: Now, if it were in perfect condition, you could probably double that price. And if you were to spend the money to get it put back into its original condition, it probably could still sell for $12,000 to $17,000. This is an extremely rare piece.
APPRAISER: One of the best things that Amphora ever made.
APPRAISER: That's what I said when I saw it. (laughing)
GUEST: Okay, yeah, wow.
APPRAISER: Even with the nick or two, he's a good looker.
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