SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Early 20th-Century Pewabic Pottery Collection

    Appraised Value:

    $36,500 - $52,000 (2013)

    Appraised on: June 1, 2013

    Appraised in: Detroit, Michigan

    Appraised by: David Rago

    Category: Pottery & Porcelain

    Episode Info: Detroit (#1804)

    Originally Aired: January 27, 2014

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Vase, Tile
    Material: Pottery
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $36,500 - $52,000 (2013)

    Related Links:

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

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (3:46)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    David Rago
    Pottery & Porcelain

    Rago Arts & Auction Center

    Appraisal Transcript:


    GUEST: I'm way into Pewabic Pottery. It's a Detroit-based pottery started by Mary Chase Perry Stratton.

    APPRAISER: And when did she start potting?

    GUEST: 1903, I think. Before that, I think she was doing some china painting. To my knowledge, she was encouraged by one of her benefactors, Mr. Freer, to try to develop a patinated glaze much like a buried, Middle Eastern glaze like in glasses.

    APPRAISER: Like Roman glass.

    GUEST: Exactly.

    APPRAISER: But she started out doing matte glazed pottery, did she not?

    GUEST: Very early, yeah, earlier in matte greens and some overflow pieces.

    APPRAISER: The pottery is still in business, correct?

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: Well, you have three different pieces of Pewabic here from three different periods. We have a tile, which is a bit later. I call it a tile, anyway. It's an Alice in Wonderland tile. What's the date of this?

    GUEST: I was thinking it was probably the teens, maybe the 1920s.

    APPRAISER: The iridescent piece I would date sometime between 1912 and 1917. It's a good early one. This is pre-1910. This would be maybe 1907, 1908, her earliest germinal work. The Alice in Wonderland tile, we've seen some of these before. They're all hand-cut, but more or less, there's some repetition of theme. This one you bought for how much?

    GUEST: $600 without the frame. I just had the frame made for it.

    APPRAISER: And you saw one similar to this sell recently?

    GUEST: November, December of 2011 in Cincinnati, sold for $2,700.

    APPRAISER: That's a lot of money for this tile. I think it's more likely to be a $1,500 to $2,000 tile.

    GUEST: That's what I was thinking.

    APPRAISER: You still did well with that one. The iridescent piece, you've had that one how long?

    GUEST: March of 2009. I bought that here in Detroit at an auction house.

    APPRAISER: And you paid how much for that?

    GUEST: $525 as an unmarked piece of Pewabic.

    APPRAISER: But you did locate a mark on this piece...

    GUEST: It was pretty clear to me, yes.

    APPRAISER: There's a circular Pewabic mark on this, and this didn't look like this when you bought it.

    GUEST: No, it was covered in, like, brown nicotine smoke. When I knew what it was and I started to wipe it down very carefully with some warm water, it just started to come alive.

    APPRAISER: It's a porous glaze, and that's the sort of thing that cooking grease will adhere to that. But a really good example of their iridescent pottery. I love it when it's organic and gloppy. A piece like this at auction, I would estimate it for between $10,000 and $15,000.

    GUEST: Oh, my, thank you!

    APPRAISER: It's really good, and it could do in excess of that. Finally, the earlier matte piece. Now, these are done by Stratton herself.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: She threw them, she carved them, they're one-of-a-kind pieces of what she was known for early on. This uranium orange glaze is most unusual. I've not seen it before, and I think it really makes it special. This one you paid how much for?

    GUEST: About $225 from an heir of somebody that worked at the pottery.

    APPRAISER: While they're one of a kind, I had one just like this in green about ten years ago, and I sold it privately, not at auction. I sold that one for $22,000.

    GUEST: Oh, my!

    APPRAISER: This one at auction, I'd estimate right now for $25,000 to $35,000 at auction. And in my opinion, and I've got goose bumps here-- it's not my first time around the race track; I've seen a lot of this stuff-- this is the best piece of Pewabic I've ever seen.

    GUEST: Oh my gosh.

    APPRAISER: I think this would be in any museum in America that had American art pottery in it, and while I think the estimate at $25,000 to $35,000 is reasonable, I see no reason why a piece like this couldn't do $50,000 or more. This is a major piece of pottery.

    GUEST: That's amazing.

    APPRAISER: Thank you, thank you.

    GUEST: No, thank you, sir.

    APPRAISER: (chuckling): We are not worthy.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 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