Wheatley Pottery Vase, ca. 1905

Value (2006) | $1,500 Auction$2,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I got it from a friend about 1982 or so. We used to go to the swap meets every weekend, and I saw him leaving the swap meet in Tucson with this under his arm. And I said, "Wow, is that ever cool. Just out of curiosity, what did you pay for it?" And he said he paid ten bucks for it. I said, "Oh, my gosh, did I ever miss that." If I had been there a half an hour earlier... And I told him, "If you ever decide to sell it, I want it." And about three or four years later, he called me and said, "I'm leaving town, I'm selling all my stuff; if you want that pot, I'll sell it to you."

APPRAISER:
He paid ten?

GUEST:
I paid $20, so he had 100%. That was better.

APPRAISER:
And you are hoping that it is what?

GUEST:
Well, it looks like a Grueby vase, more or less.

APPRAISER:
Well, definitely looks like a Grueby pot-- very organic, with the carved leaves and the buds and the three buttressed feet. There are some very faint marks, but, uh, nothing legible. One of the things that Grueby did and some of their competitors did, was copy shapes and glazes from European art pottery about the same period. And this piece probably dates from say 1900 to 1910. But they weren't the only ones to borrow shapes from other companies. The fact of the matter is, this is not Grueby.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
But we're going to solve the mystery.

GUEST:
Great.

APPRAISER:
This is a Cincinnati piece of art pottery.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
This is actually a piece of Wheatley.

GUEST:
Wheatley?

APPRAISER:
Thomas Wheatley, who worked in Cincinnati for a number of years, actually worked for Weller in the late 1890s, and then came back to Cincinnati and started doing these wonderful Arts and Crafts pieces, very much in the same style as Grueby.

GUEST:
So is this... it is hand-thrown and carved?

APPRAISER:
No, no.

GUEST:
Or is it actually molded?

APPRAISER:
This is a molded piece,

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
where Grueby would have been hand-thrown--

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
--and all the stuff carved. But very nice and the glazes are usually pretty good, too.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
I can assure you you're going to be happy with the value, even though it's not Grueby price. At auction, this would sell for somewhere in the $1,500 to $2,000 range.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
Even with the small chip on the foot, because it's a... it's a nice form,

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
it's a nice color. It's definitely Wheatley. I've had this form before.

GUEST:
Okay. Oh, you've seen this exact shape?

APPRAISER:
I've sold this.

GUEST:
I was going to ask, what was it that made it a Wheatley, but you've seen this form.

APPRAISER:
The glaze and the texture is what draws me to it. It's just, it's the kind of thing you just want to touch it and feel it. Had it been Grueby, we'd be talking about $20,000 plus.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Humler & Nolan
Cincinnati, OH
Appraised value (2006)
$1,500 Auction$2,000 Auction
Event
Tucson, AZ (June 17, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Vase
Material
Pottery

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