Appraised on June 4, 2011 by David Rago |
Update December 17, 2012:
Original Appraised Value: $30,000 - $40,000
We contacted appraiser Nicholas Lowry for an updated appraisal in today's market.• Current Appraised Value: $30,000 - $40,000 (Unchanged)Update March 19, 2012:
After this segment aired, we received an email from a viewer, who pointed out that appraiser David Rago misspoke when he referred to the 1904 World's Fair as the "St. Louis Purchase Exposition." The 1904 fair celebrated the centennial of the purchase of Louisiana and should be referred to as either the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the St. Louis World's Fair, or simply the 1904 World's Fair.
Rago was also mistaken when he stated that St. Louis had held a world's fair every year. While the city of St. Louis did hold an annual exposition from the 1850s until 1902, those expos were meant to showcase agricultural and technical exhibitions from around the city. In 1903, with the World's Fair scheduled to come to St. Louis (although it ended up being postponed and didn't actually take place until 1904), the annual city expo was superseded by the much larger international event. Update January 23, 2012:
Further research confirms that this Van Briggle "Climbing for Honey" vase did in fact win a bronze medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. After taping this segment, appraiser David Rago followed up with a colleague at the St. Louis Art Museum, who had access to the full 1904 Exposition records. The records revealed that a bronze medal was awarded to Van Briggle's "No. 914 Tall vase with modelled bears, green glaze." As Rago mentions in his appraisal, confirming this relationship between the vase and medal adds significantly to the value of the piece, which he says would now be between $30,000 and $40,000 at auction.
The Expo records also revealed one more important detail: the designer of the vase was actually a man named George B. Young. Why would a Van Briggle vase, bearing the trademark double "A" signature of Artus and Anne Van Briggle, be attributed to a different designer? Rago explained that Van Briggle pottery was molded, rather than hand-thrown, consequently, "Artus designed pieces that others, like his wife, may have finished, and vice versa." He went on to say that the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition would have been a very important show for Artus — and, as it turns out, his last — so he probably wanted to make sure it represented the best pottery produced bearing his name.
What is particularly interesting about discovering George B. Young's connection to the vase, however, is that Young was actually the great-grandfather of the vase's present-day owner, Todd, who brought the piece to the June 2011 Roadshow event in Eugene. The owner was incredibly surprised to learn of his great-grandfather's connection to the piece. Family lore dictated that the piece had been given to Todd's great-great-grandfather, Harvey Otis Young, by a mutual friend he shared with Artus Van Briggle. Todd had no idea that that "friend" of Van Briggle's was actually a designer for the famed potter and also his great-grandfather, George.