1916 Rookwood Scenic Vellum Plaque

Value (2011) | $3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
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GUEST:
As far as I understand, it's a tile art piece. And my father received it from his aunt. And he had it hanging on his wall for many years, and then was going to sell his home. And the realtors that he was working with came through his home to look it over and said, "I'll give you $50 for that piece." My dad said, "I'm not interested." So he walked through the home a little more, and he came back and he said, "I'll give you $200 for that."

APPRAISER:
Hmm.

GUEST:
He said, "No, I'm not interested in selling it." So he determined it had some value.

APPRAISER:
What you have is a beautiful Rookwood scenic Vellum plaque. Rookwood is one of the biggest pottery companies in this country. They were based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They would be in business starting in about 1880, and for a very long time, as a large company employing lots of people. So they produced many pieces. They had a roster of first-rate decorators, and they did many beautiful vases. They also made production tiles, they made garden wares, and they made plaques. Now, the plaques that were made at Rookwood are different from other types of tiles, because they were decorated in the same way that some of their vases would be decorated. Now, Rookwood would do many different glaze lines. This one is scenic Vellum, so they had vases that were scenic Vellum vases.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, I was showing this to my colleague, and he said, "Did you take this out of the frame?" I said, "I did not." He said, "It could possibly be a green Vellum plaque." This is the original frame that it came in. So this is what we have on the back, which tells you that it is the original frame. This was a little bit loose. We have the Rookwood paper label on the back. And just beneath that, we have the original paper label that says the title of the piece and the artist, one of their very best, known as Sally Coyne. This piece here dates to 1916. This is the "RP" mark. There's one flame per date after 1886. And then underneath that, we have a Roman numeral mark, which is 16. So this is 1916. The V beneath that signifies Vellum. That is the name of the line. It is not green Vellum. It is Vellum. There are two prices. Perhaps the $190 refers to the price of the frame, and the $20 may have been the price for the actual plaque when it was sold.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
But I will pop this out to show you that while on somebody's wall, it accumulated some cooking grease or smoke or whatever it was, and so this is not its true color. It can be soaked in hot water with a little bit of dishwashing soap, and then gently scrubbed with a little plastic scrubby. All right, and then put back in the frame once it's nice and dry.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
All that being said, this is an absolutely lovely tile, and at auction, one could expect to have that reach probably in the $3,000 to $4,000 range.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
If it were green Vellum, it would probably bring an extra $1,000.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, New Jersey
Appraised value (2011)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Event
Minneapolis, MN (July 09, 2011)
Period
20th Century
Form
Plaque
Material
Pottery

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