Rookwood Silver Overlay Ewer, ca. 1905

Value (2011) | $4,000 Auction$5,000 Auction

W.H. Merrill was the editor of the New York World from approximately 1890 to 1905.

On top of the historical value of the piece, this is exceptional in several ways. Number one, most Rookwood silver overlay pieces are a third this size, so this is rather large. Additionally, the silver itself is quite beautiful. The calla lilies and the silver overlay frame the artwork, so instead of covering it, like they do in many overlay pieces, the silver actually shows the artwork off. And finally, there's no crazing on this piece, which is important for several reasons. It makes the work crisper, but also, over the years, when people clean silver overlay pieces, the solvent gets in the crazing and causes a spiderwebbing effect. Because this isn't crazed, it has none of that, so it's a pristine piece of Rookwood silver overlay. And normally I would say a piece this size is about a $3,000 or $4,000 piece of Rookwood. Because of the inscription, it's probably going to add another $1,000 to it at auction, so say maybe $4,000 to $5,000 at auction.

That's a delightful number.

Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2011)
$4,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Tulsa, OK (July 23, 2011)

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