1905 Valentien Decorated Rookwood Vellum Vase

Value (2009) | $5,000 Auction$7,500 Auction

I got it from my mom. This was something that I'd always admired and wanted. And so I've asked her about the history. And she and my dad had received it from family friends in either the 1940s or the 1950s. She knew that it was a Rookwood vase, but beyond that she didn't really know anything.

Rookwood pottery is one of the most important manufacturers of art pottery in America. They were in Cincinnati, Ohio, started in the 1880s, and they did some really interesting and innovative things over the years. They did lots of things that were artist pieces, like this, that were one-of-a-kind pieces that were hand painted by an individual artist. They also later on did things that were more mass produced. We called it production pieces. So they would take a specific shape and they would make it over and over and over again in different glazes, different colors, but those were not decorated by an individual artist. But regardless, they did so many important and interesting things that they're really appreciated in the collecting world, both their hand-painted one-of-a-kind things as well as their later production things. What's so great about this is these terrific fish that are on it.


And the interesting effect of the fish, they're painted against a sea green background, as if they were underwater. The glazes and the colors are streaked in such a way as if they're swimming underwater. Now let's look at the marks on the bottom. And we have some very typical Rookwood marks. The first one is the standard Rookwood mark. There's the initials "RP," with one being backwards, one being forward, which stands for "Rookwood Pottery." There are flames around the mark, which takes us as far as dating up to 1900. And then underneath is the letter "V," for 1905. So this piece was made in 1905. And then a factory number. The next important mark is the V there, which is another V, which means something completely different. That means "vellum," which is the type of glaze that this particular piece has. And the final important mark is the mark of the artist or the decorator. And his name was Albert Valentine. Now, at certain points in his career, he signed his name "Valentine," spelled t-i-n-e, but later on he signed his name t-i-e-n, "Valentien." There were a great many vellum glaze vases made, and this one's a particularly large one. And the fish, because they're rare, and because of the charming subject matter, bring a lot more money. This piece at auction would probably sell for at least $5,000 to $7,500 and possibly even more.

Oh, wow. That is wonderful.

I would highly recommend that you clean this baby up. It's dirty.

Give it a bath.


Appraisal Details

David Lackey Antiques & Art
Houston, TX
Appraised value (2009)
$5,000 Auction$7,500 Auction
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)

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