Two 1914 Saturday Evening Girls Tiles
A lovely older couple who lived next to me for many years are from the East Coast originally, Boston and Newton, Massachusetts, and she gave me many things, and supposedly these came from Tufts University and perhaps were on a mantel there. That's really all I know about them, and that could be wrong. They always had some felt on the back of them, I guess, so they wouldn't scratch, and it was only yesterday when I decided to bring them that I took the felt off and I saw all of the engraving on the back, so I have no idea what that all means.
These tiles were made by the Saturday Evening Girls. Saturday Evening Girls, or S.E.G., which is signed on the back...
was a philanthropic organization of sorts, and it was put together in Boston so that young girls had a place to go to learn crafts, to gather together, to read to each other, to dance and so forth. And one of the things that they did that became very popular and lucrative, to some extent, was to make pottery and to make tiles. They made a lot of pottery. They didn't make many tiles. So what we usually see from S.E.G. are little breakfast sets-- little bowls and plates. The tiles that we see are usually the same tiles of special areas in Boston. I've never seen these. These are very rare. They are gorgeous. They're decorated in what is called cuerda seca, and these were tiles to be mounted. If they had been trivet, they would have been glazed around, so they may very well have been mounted in that fireplace surround at Tufts. In the back, they were meant to be different tiles altogether.
And that was changed, for whatever reason, and so we have two other tiles here, North Street and Washington Street, which were never glazed. But we do see the S.E.G. mark for "Saturday Evening Girls," as well as the date, and the S.G. for "Sarah Gelner," who was one of their very best decorators. Oh, my goodness, how neat! She was with them for over ten years.
So these are really spectacular. The value of these S.E.G. tiles has been going up. And the rare ones are extremely collectible. So if I were to have these insured, I would probably do the pair somewhere between $7,500 and $10,000.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.