H.B. Quimper Odetta Vase, ca. 1920
An elderly French couple that lived across the street from us, we just became really close friends, and when her husband passed away, she ended up putting this in the garage because she always hated it and thought it was ugly. And I told her she should put it back in the house, and she said, "I don't want it," and she gave it to me.
Okay. First of all, when I see something like this, I always look at the design-- what's going on here. And this has got a really remarkable, really interesting Art Deco style design going on. At the top, we've got perhaps plants, but I wonder if they're supposed to be something like jellyfish with little tentacles coming down. Or they could be a water plant. It's kind of stylized; it's hard to know. Then we go on down and we've got these wonderful stylized nautilus shells here and we've got some waves, kind of imitating the water. Even the ripples of the glaze kind of gives this whole feeling of being under water. If we rotate the vase, we see that the design is repeated all the way around the vase, and on the handles we've got these wonderful heavy drips of glaze going down the side of the vase. Now, when I looked at things like this, I like to say, "Hmm, I wonder who made that." So my first thought, it looks French. It looks kind of like things made by Boch Frères, an Art Deco designer named Charles Catteau, but no, the colors aren't right, so it can't be that. So then I thought, hmm, I bet it's Austrian. But still, it wasn't quite right. So then I thought, well, maybe it's Dutch. There's Gouda pottery, which is a group of factories that made these very stylized Art Deco type patterns with dark backgrounds. But they really used more of a black color. So I thought, hmm, I don't know what it is. So I turned it over. It says "Quimper," which, many people pronounced it "Kwim-per." There's an HB, and then it says "Odetta." Quimper is actually a city, and there are three different factories which made French faience, a pottery in that area. And HB is the initials of one of those factories. Now, the full factory name is this long, unpronounceable French thing for someone like me, who, unfortunately, doesn't speak French. So a lot of people call it "H.B. Quimper." Odetta is a line of patterns that they made. But when I looked at that, I thought, "This doesn't look like any type of Quimper that I've ever seen before." What Quimper is known for is a white background pottery, or sometimes it's a yellow background, and it has very naive French peasants painted on it-- farmers and farmers' wives, with bright yellows and blue colors and greens. And this doesn't look anything like that. Now, their line must have not sold very well, because we very rarely see it, and especially, we don't see pieces that are this big with this much figural design on them. We did some talking at the pottery and porcelain table, and we compared. And we said, based strictly on the size and the great visual appeal, this piece would have to be worth at least $1,000 to $1,500. Now, it may be possible that an advanced Quimper collector who really collects this line might even pay much, much more than that, but it's a good, safe estimate of what a retail selling price would be for this particular vase.
That's nice. That's nice.
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