Brown-Westhead Moore & Company Foot Bath, ca. 1873

Value (2008) | $1,000 Retail$1,500 Retail

GUEST:
This was my mother's, and when she passed away I got a few items from her home, and this is one of the things that I really liked. I like the birds, and it's just something I've always admired of hers.

APPRAISER:
And what have you found out about it?

GUEST:
Well, I've done a little research, and the patent mark on the bottom says that it was made in England in 1873.

APPRAISER:
First we need to say what it is, and it is a...

GUEST:
I'm assuming it's a foot bath?

APPRAISER:
Yes, it is. You're exactly right. It is a foot bath. And this large size would be really great for washing your feet. And this was something that was really popular in the 19th century. By the late 19th century, it really went out of style. This is pottery-- late 19th-century creamware. We have birds on both sides here, and they're really quite colorful, with different types of plants. And if we turn it around to the opposite side, we have more birds that are very colorful. It's a combination of transfer and hand painting. Many times we would call something like this "hand-decorated" instead of hand-painted. What there was was a decal or a transfer that was basically in brown tones. It was kind of an outline. And then at the factory, artists would hand-paint each of the colors. They were basically kind of filling in the spaces. So they didn't have to be highly skilled artists, but still ones that could put the colors in. Let's take a look at the marks on the bottom. First of all, there's the mark of the manufacturer, which is up here. And it's colorless impress mark and a little hard to read and to see, but it says, "Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co." And this company was a really large company that made all types of earthenware and pottery, and they exported a large number of things to the United States. So this could have been exported to the United States when it was new, or it could have been sold new in England, but my guess is it was probably sold new in England, because the idea of a foot bath was never really popular in the United States. Now, you talked about the English mark here. You called it a patent mark. Actually, it is a registration mark.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
In England, it's called a registration diamond, and by looking closely with a magnifying glass in the corners, you were able to read some letters and numbers, and you are correct. It was registered in 1873. So that we know that it was made about that point or later. And the registration basically prevented another manufacturer from copying this form from this company. Now, this number here at the bottom, which is hand-painted, it's upside-down, but it says "D 4262," and that would be the pattern number assigned by the manufacturer.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
That's a very common form of pattern numbers in Great Britain, so if you ever see that on pottery and porcelain, it frequently means that it's English. The people who buy foot baths and who determine the price-- is really, it's part of the decorating, interior design market. And this one has really great design and great colors and that certainly helps the value. My guess is that this piece would sell, a retail price, of between $1,000 and $1,500. So it's a really great piece. I'm a particular fan of foot baths, and I loved seeing this one.

GUEST:
Thank you so much. I have a plant in it, myself.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
David Lackey Antiques & Art
Houston, TX
Appraised value (2008)
$1,000 Retail$1,500 Retail
Event
Wichita, KS (July 12, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Form
Bowl
Material
Pottery

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.