Flight & Barr Worcester Vases, ca. 1800

Value (2008) | $3,000 Retail$4,000 Retail

GUEST:
I got them in Chattanooga. I like to go to antique malls and stuff about a couple of times a year. And I saw these on the bottom shelf of a display case, and I thought they'd really look great in my house. So, I looked at them and I paid $350 for them.

APPRAISER:
Okay, well that's a lot of money.

GUEST:
It is.

APPRAISER:
So why did you pay that much money for them?

GUEST:
Well, I've-I've looked through books and stuff and I've seen some that looked sort of like that. I've especially seen ones with seashells on them in books.

APPRAISER:
Uh-huh.

GUEST:
Are these by the same people?

APPRAISER:
Well, let's take a look on the bottom.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And I understood that you researched these marks.

GUEST:
Well, I looked and found that they're "Flight & Barr" by Worcester, I hope. And that they're early English porcelain.

APPRAISER:
Well, you're absolutely right. They are early Worcester. And there are some really interesting marks on the bottom. First of all there's on this one is a red painted mark. That says "Flight & Barr, Worcester." And then in abbreviation which says, "Manufacturers to their Majesties."

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
And that would refer to King George III and his wife.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
There is another mark, which is rather faint which you may not have noticed. Each of them have the faint letter B. It's incised. And that mark was used in 1792, and usually considered to be used until about 1803. The other hand painted mark is used as late as 1807. So we pretty much know they're going to be early 1900 century or very late 1800. Now one interesting thing about those-- they're not a true pair. If you look at this vase here you can see on the side of it is a little notch in the design.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And this one goes straight up. I have noticed that. So, and-and that's not something that most people would immediately notice. So, they were obviously made by the same factory but made at a slightly different time. But then probably sold together new, because if you ever lost one of these vases you wouldn't find a matching vase. You'd probably never find one even though they possibly exist.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
What's really great about these vases is the hand-painted botanical scenes on the front of the flowers, which is really spectacularly done. English porcelain-making was reaching its zenith near this time. In the 18th century it was primarily influenced by Chinese export porcelain and German porcelain, like Meissen. But right at the turn of the century, starting around 1800, they started making their own designs. And this is something that the English excelled at-- is these wonderful reserves with botanicals.

GUEST:
They were painted by the same person, you think?

APPRAISER:
I feel relatively sure that they were the same artist. And actually if we had more time to do some research we might've even could attribute them to a specific artist and factory.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Another interesting thing about these vases is the beautiful pale green color. I was going to ask about that. And some people think that is kind of an unusual color, but actually this was a very popular color during that time period.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
You said something about is this the same company that did the shells...yes.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm. Okay.

APPRAISER:
Sometimes you'll see similar vases with shells or hand-painted feathers, and those are also very popular.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now these particular vases, because they are in great condition-- which is at this point 200 years after they're made-- it's really hard to find vases that are in great condition and the pair is still intact. I would say that a retail value for these would be between $3,000 and $4,000. Now had they been painted with shells or feathers they value would have been closer to $10,000 to $20,000. But the flowers are still magnificent.

GUEST:
I love the flowers.

APPRAISER:
Absolutely beautiful.

GUEST:
Porcelains like this with the paintings on them are things I really like.

And I never expected to be able to afford one. So when I saw those, I snapped them up and hoped.

APPRAISER:
You made an excellent buy paying $350.

GUEST:
Thank you. Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
David Lackey Antiques & Art
Houston, TX
Appraised value (2008)
$3,000 Retail$4,000 Retail
Event
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)
Form
Vase
Material
Porcelain

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