French Porcelain Mantel Vases, ca. 1880

Value (2011) | $600 Retail$900 Retail
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GUEST:
I bought them at the local flea market where I live. It's on the west side of El Paso. I like to collect pottery and art glass, mostly.

APPRAISER:
How did you start going? Did your parents take you?

GUEST:
Actually, I call it my dad's flea market because he was the first person to start selling there.

APPRAISER:
Oh, no kidding? Well, there's a lot of fun to be had in going to flea markets and yard sales. And my advice, if you like to go to fleas and you like to go to yard sales, is be careful what you buy. Be discriminating, buy the good things.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And these are good things. You know what they are?

GUEST:
Pottery? Porcelain?

APPRAISER:
Yeah, well, you're right the second time. They're porcelain, there's a difference. Porcelain, you can see through it, it's kind of white and it's almost like glass. Pottery is thicker and heavier, typically. They're French porcelain, and they've got good age to them. They're probably made about 1880, something like that.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And they're nice quality. They're not the highest, the best quality, but they're really very nice. These panels on the front are hand-painted. A lot of these are not-- they're just printed on-- and you can see, if you look carefully. And they're very well done. Painted with these scenes of French people in the countryside, there's a hunter there and his girlfriend that he's wooing, and there's another couple here. If I turn one 'round, you'll see the back's painted as well. Very prettily painted with wildflowers on this nice, sort of dusty pink background. I looked at them and there's no real damage or repair on them that I can see, and this is all good things. How much did you pay for them at the flea market?

GUEST:
I paid $50 for both of them.

APPRAISER:
$50 for both of them?

GUEST:
Yeah, I actually asked the lady to hold one for me because I only had $25, and I came back after two weeks. She kept the other one for me.

APPRAISER:
I'm glad you kept them together, because they've been a pair for a very long time, these two, and it would be a shame to split them up. I think today, if they were in a good antique shop, you'd see a price on these of at least $600 or maybe as much as $900.

GUEST:
Wow!

APPRAISER:
And that price is for the pair. You made a great buy.

GUEST:
I did, for $50.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Dallas, TX
Appraised value (2011)
$600 Retail$900 Retail
Event
El Paso, TX (June 18, 2011)
Period
19th Century
Form
Vase
Material
Porcelain

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