Weller Sicard Vase, ca. 1905

Value (2009) | $1,000 Auction

It was from my great-aunt's estate, who was a real world traveler, but also collected things in the United States. I got it, I saw it in a museum about five years later in San Francisco, not this identical piece, but one extremely similar to it. So when I got home, I looked it up online, and it said at that time it was from a prestigious Eastern pottery school, and the artist was well known, but the piece was only worth $215 to $250. And that was all I knew about it, and it's been packed away ever since. It was the last thing I grabbed this morning, thinking I needed one more piece.

It's a beautiful example of Weller Sicard, or Sicardo. Weller was the name of the company that was in Zanesville, Ohio, and Sam Weller, who was the owner of the company, hired Jacques Sicard, a Frenchman, to come from France and replicate a line that he was doing, and that line was called Reflets Metalliques, or "Metallic Reflects," which is this. It's an Art Nouveau line where you glaze the vase and then you add little silver or copper oxide chips and fire it, and there's a lot of hand work that has to happen after that. Sam Weller did not have a very good reputation with the artists that he hired. There had been somebody else before, by the name of William Long, who he hired for his line called Lonhuda. Weller pretty much figured out how Lonhuda was made and then pushed William Long out of the company. Jacques Sicard knew that, so when Sam Weller wanted his helpers to help out-- "help out"-- Jacques Sicard with this, Sicard says, "No way. "I'm going to do this in the privacy of my own little studio." So he did this in a closed room. He found some holes being drilled in the wall...

Oh, you're kidding.

Because they were trying to spy on him to steal his recipe, but they were not able to steal this.

What a great story.

The line started appearing in 1903, and Sicard was back in France in 1907, so it would have been made within those years.

I had no idea it was that old, actually. I assumed it was from the 1930s.

Weller was on to very, very different kind of production by the '30s, much more commercial. So, this lovely piece of Weller Sicard, which is signed down here...

Oh, my gosh, I didn't even see it.

It's usually in camo. ...is worth these days, at auction, around a thousand dollars.


Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2009)
$1,000 Auction
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)

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