Royal Vienna-Style Porcelain Plaque, ca. 1895

Value (2011) | $6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
It's been in my family since the late 1800s. It originated with our grandmother, Florence, who lived in Germany when she was quite young, from the age of maybe eight to 13. And it has been in her home for all of the years until her passing in 1963, I believe. And my partner, when he was ten, saw it in his grandmother's apartment and begged, saying, "Please, I want to take this." And so they allowed him to take that.

APPRAISER:
Was that when they were dividing up her estate?

GUEST:
That's correct.

APPRAISER:
Now, you brought a copy of an old photograph showing it here. So where is this, exactly?

GUEST:
This is in St. Paul, and I believe the photo is from 1913.

APPRAISER:
Well, I love family objects that are documented in family photos.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
So that's wonderful that you have a copy of this photo and you actually brought some others that show it from different views.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And so what I would suggest you do long term is you take these photographs, write down a written history, and attach it to the back of the piece. We would call this a Royal Vienna-style porcelain. There was a company called Royal Vienna.

GUEST:
Alright.

APPRAISER:
Which went out of business in the last part of the 19th century, but there were many, many factories who made things in the style of them and put spurious marks that are in the style of the Royal Vienna factory.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The mark on the back of this is an underglaze blue shield, or a beehive, and then with a European-style "7" beneath that.

GUEST:
I thought I saw that.

APPRAISER:
What that tells us is that we don't know who made this, but that's not so much the point. There were many factories, mostly in Austria and Germany, which made porcelains in this style.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
The value is based upon size, the condition, but most important is the quality and the decorative appeal. Now, the plus for this is we've got this fantastic, huge size. I mean, this is really big. This is all hand painted; it is not a decal or transfer of any kind.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
We've got this wonderful European scene with horses and dogs and men.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Now, one of your questions was, "Who painted this?"

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And we don't know.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It was a person who worked in a decorating factory, probably in Austria, and they would have employed a whole host of artists who specialized in painting on porcelain and painting things in this style.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
The quality is very good, but not great.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Perhaps on a scale of one to ten, it's maybe a seven or an eight. But one big thing that really helps the value of this is this magnificent frame. Now, this is an American frame.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Based upon the aesthetic style of it.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
Especially these wonderful sprays of pears in the four corners. Probably dates around the 1890s, which is about when we would expect this plaque to have been made. So somewhere in that time period. And the frame definitely adds value to it. But the combined package I would guess, at auction, would sell for between $6,000 and $8,000.

GUEST:
Nice.

APPRAISER:
Because it is so decorative. Now, the frame by itself might sell in the $1,000 to $1,500 range.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
David Lackey Antiques & Art
Houston, TX
Appraised value (2011)
$6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Event
Minneapolis, MN (July 09, 2011)
Period
19th Century
Form
Frame, Plaque
Material
Porcelain

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.