Caughley Porcelain “Toy” Service, ca. 1780

Value (2009) | $3,000 Insurance
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GUEST:
I got them from an antique dealer 50 years ago, or my mother did. I'd gone to this dealer to buy cups and saucers for my mother at her birthday or Christmas or something. And she had this set and she wouldn't sell it. And finally she called my mother in '51 and said she was ready to part with it. And then my mother gave it to us for Christmas the following year. My mother paid $100 for it.

APPRAISER:
Where was this antiques dealer?

GUEST:
In Saginaw, Michigan.

APPRAISER:
In Saginaw, Michigan.

GUEST:
And her husband was a judge so she got first crack at all the estates up there.

APPRAISER:
All the good stuff. I'm going to turn the coffee pot over so we can have a look at what's on the bottom. Tell me what you know about this mark.

GUEST:
The mark is Salopian Ware. It was made in the McCaughley factories over in England back in the late 1700s.

APPRAISER:
There's an English county in the middle of England called Shropshire, which is also known as Salop. It's an alternate name. And Salopian means from the county of Shropshire. And I understand it pretty well because I was made in the county of Shropshire too.

GUEST:
Is that right?

APPRAISER:
As a matter of fact, I grew up just two or three miles from the old factory where this was made. It was called the Caughley factory. And some people pronounce it "Cawley." But "Cofflee" is the correct pronunciation. I'd been doing Antiques Roadshow now for 14 years, since the very first season. And this is the first piece of Caughley I've seen.

GUEST:
Is that right?

APPRAISER:
You'll find 18th-century English porcelain in general is quite rare. It's a little child's service. And child's services were designed to play with, yes, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to teach young children, young girls in particular, how to behave properly.

GUEST:
Is that right?

APPRAISER:
Oh, yes. How to look after china and porcelain, how to serve a table and so on. So they had a purpose. And they were quite in common use arguably, certainly until World War II. But in the 18th century, you see a few of them. It's hand painted, which is very sweet. It's painted in the Chinese style, as you'd expect. You've got what are called trios here: one saucer, with a tea bowl and a coffee cup sharing it. Now, this is a common late-18th-century presentation. There are tiny little cracks and one or two tiny chips, but because of the rarity, those little tiny condition issues are not important. Now, have you ever had it valued?

GUEST:
Yes, I did about in, uh... 1970s. We had an appraisal of all our antiques. At that time, he appraised it at $700.

APPRAISER:
I think in the 1970s, that's a fair price. Caughley is a tiny, rather insignificant factory. It's heavily romanticized. So it has a good following in collectors. I'm going to say today, for insurance valuation, this little group would be valued up to $3,000.

GUEST:
Wow. Thank you.

APPRAISER:
A large part of the value of that is in the coffee pot, which is perhaps the sweetest little piece of Caughley porcelain any collector could wish to have.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Dallas, Texas
Appraised value (2009)
$3,000 Insurance
Event
Madison, WI (July 11, 2009)
Period
18th Century
Form
Tea Set
Material
Porcelain
December 19, 2011: We contacted appraiser Nicholas Dawes for an updated appraisal of this object in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $3,000 (Unchanged)

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