1876 Isaac Broome Porcelain Bust

Value (2012) | $50,000 Auction

I acquired it from my grandmother when I was 15 years old. I always admired it in her house.

Show a special fondness for it? It's not a normal a gift from a grandmother to her grandson.

I did, I always loved it.

I know it's made by Ott and Brewer in Trenton, New Jersey, by Isaac Broome. Well, we know it's by Isaac Broome because his signature is on it. Under her shoulder blade we have "Isaac Broome" in 1876, which is an interesting year because it's the year of the centennial exposition in Philadelphia. Several of these were made. Broome developed in time for the centennial exposition a colored parian or a colored porcelain ware. Before that they were white or bisque white in color, but this is, to my knowledge, the only brown one that exists.

Oh, wow.

And as I learned from one of my colleagues, Broome was so behind schedule, that when the show opened, the work he'd planned for the exhibition wasn't completed yet, and he kept ceding material into the exhibition as it was in progress, and this is probably one of the pieces. There is some damage on the piece. It does affect the value. She's got some age to her, she's awfully sweet, and she is porcelain. So we do expect there to be some issues, yes. I would say for auction, I would probably expect it to bring somewhere around $50,000.


And you had it appraised for how much?

Unbelievable, $500.

About $50,000. Recently, another vase by Isaac Broome, a pastoral piece, which is very good and also colored porcelain, sold at auction...

Oh, my God, I'm going to pass out.

I believe it's gone to a major institution, and that brought $25,000 with some damage. This is a significantly better piece.

Oh, my God. Amazing.

Frankly, because of how rare they are, if I put... if I saw this at auction with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, or $30,000 to $40,000, there's no way in my mind it would bring less than $50,000 and could bring upwards of $75,000 to $100,000.

Oh, my God, absolutely amazing. (laughing) Thank you so much.

Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2012)
$50,000 Auction
Pittsburgh, PA (August 13, 2011)

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