American Stoneware Crock, ca. 1880

Value (2011) | $4,000 Retail$6,000 Retail
Watch  

APPRAISER:
Got a great piece of pottery here with some neat decoration on it. Where was it you told me that it came from?

GUEST:
Gentry, Arkansas. My dad lived there when he was young, like in the '40s, and they met a man who lived in a cabin and he had ties to the Civil War. And when he passed away, his family lived in California and asked my family to go in and clean up the cabin and said they could keep anything that they found, and this was the one thing that really caught my dad's eye. And he has since given it to me, a couple years ago.

APPRAISER:
Now, where do you have it in the house?

GUEST:
I just have it by my couch. I keep remotes and stuff... My kids put toys in it.

APPRAISER:
That's a lot of remotes.

GUEST:
Yeah. (laughs)

APPRAISER:
This started life as a straight-sided crock that was made in a pottery factory, but when I say factory they were hand-throwing them.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And the pottery was probably not in Arkansas. It could have been Ohio, Pennsylvania, even New York.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This is stoneware. This is what most people in the trade would call an "end of day" piece. At the end of the day, you've got a little extra cobalt blue in your slip tray, and so you just decide that you're going to do something for the heck of it.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And so ordinarily, the only decoration you would have seen on it might have been that six...

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
for the fact that it's a six-gallon. That would have been the standard decoration.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
But then, you know, what takes it up a level is the man, who could be a Union soldier, with the hat.

GUEST:
Right, right.

APPRAISER:
You put that face on there, you put the fly, you put the shoofly thing on there, and then you fire it, and you got to take it home. People that collect this kind of stuff like to see a maker's name on it, but you don't usually see a maker's name on an end-of-day piece because the company didn't want their name on it. They didn't want that to be representative of what they were selling. You've got a few condition issues. There's a crack here, you've got some chips around the handle...

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
and some chips on the rim. For a collector, that's not a deal-killer. They're more interested in the decoration, and the condition is probably going to affect them some, but I talked with my colleagues over there at the table, and we feel pretty comfortable with a price of $4,000 to $6,000 retail for this.

GUEST:
(gasping) (laughing) Wow. Whoo!

APPRAISER:
It's a cool thing.

GUEST:
And to think I just used it to bring the thing I was going to bring to the show in. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Ken Farmer & Associates
Charlottesville, VA
Appraised value (2011)
$4,000 Retail$6,000 Retail
Event
Tulsa, OK (July 23, 2011)
Period
19th Century
Material
Stoneware

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.